Nintendo loses court case for Digital Preorder Cancelation Policy

Nintendo may have to change its for cancelling preorders on the eShop after it lost a court case over the matter in Germany. The current policy is that digital preorders can be canceled up to a week prior to release, a change the company made to the policy last year.

German court of appeals has reversed the decision that previously allowed Nintendo to have the seven-day policy for cancellation. The court sided with the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) and The Norwegian Consumer Council, who argued that preorders should be held to the same standard as other digital purchases in Europe, allowing a 14-day period in which the product could be refunded.

The decision (translated by Nintendo Life) stated that since the pre-load was not a playable game, that the download is worthless to buyers and that Nintendo does not fulfill its part of the exchange until the game’s release date. Nintendo has not announced or made any changes to its preorder policy on the eShop, but this decision will likely result in preorders being able to be refunded at least up until the game’s release date, at least in the EU.

Nintendo isn’t the only company with restrictive rules around digital games, with PlayStation only offering refunds within 14 days of purchase if you haven’t begun to download the game yet, although it doesn’t have any restrictions regarding preorders. Xbox has a similar policy, but it allows it for games “in which you haven’t accumulated a significant amount of play time.”

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