After some confusion, Nintendo has clarified their policy on Switch cloud saves. In the update, they make it clear that any uploaded save data will remain in the cloud for a bit. Specifically, a user can cancel their Nintendo Switch Online subscription and retain their saves for 180 days. Although this gives players some extra room when managing their saved data and subscription, keep in mind that the data is only accessible with an active membership. After a subscription ends, the save stays safe for half a year, but it is only accessible once the subscription restarts within that time limit.
This clarification was made to IGN after some ambiguity on the Big N's stance on cloud saves. Initially, an FAQ on Nintendo U.K. read, "Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership". Many took this to mean that Nintendo immediately erases your cloud data after your subscription expires. This has turned out not to be the case.
This isn't the first bit of controversy to hit Nintendo's newest attempt at managing the Switch's online service. When news of the cloud saves first came to light, Nintendo also stated that some games won't support cloud saving, most notably Splatoon 2 and the two upcoming Pokémon Let's Go! titles. These games won't have cloud save capabilities as a way to prevent online cheating, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo Switch Online started on Sept. 18. Similar to Sony and Microsoft's services, players now have to pay a recurring fee to play Switch games online. Before it rolled out, Switch owners could freely play games online, including major first-party titles, like Splatoon 2 and ARMS. The service costs $20 a year, and it comes with other features. Thes include the aforementioned cloud saves and several classic NES games. Just don't expect a virtual console any time soon.
Is it a relief that your Switch cloud saves are safe from a forgotten payment? Are you already a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, or are you waiting for Smash? Let us know in the comments below!