Nintendo's Eshop Is Under Fire In Europe

Nintendo eShop
(Image credit: Nintendo)

When it comes to the all-digital future, there are still a lot of questions, loop holes, and various mechanisms that haven't been fully clarified to the general public, like an aspect of Nintendo's eShop, which recently came under fire from a European consumer advocacy institution.

Norwegian gaming site, Press Fire, is reporting that the European Consumer Council has come down on Nintendo for not offering the option in the Nintendo eShop to cancel pre-orders. Polygon translated the article, explaining that in the letter the European Union Consumer Rights Directive mandates that consumers have protection when making purchases both retail and digital, and that when it comes to online purchases for digital goods that consumers should have the ability to cancel online purchases and have the ability to get a refund within two weeks of a purchase.

The letter demands that Nintendo either explain how consumers are able to cancel pre-orders through the Nintendo eShop or withdraw from the commitment to a pre-purchase of digital software. Additionally, Nintendo is given the option of how the Nintendo eShop doesn't violate the European Union Consumer Rights Directive, where refunds are supposed to be mandatory along with the option of backing out of a digital sale.

It does look especially bad, given that companies like Electronic Arts have actually been complying with the directive since starting up Origin, and even Valve eventually came around to adding the option to refund software after getting sued by Australia's ACCC outfit, which works as a consumer protection organization. Eventually Valve implemented the option to get refunds from purchases on Steam after losing the lawsuit. Now gamers can play a game for just under two hours before requesting a refund, or own it for up to two weeks before getting a refund.

If Nintendo adopted a similar method, it would mean that gamers could playtest many games before committing to the purchase or get a refund two weeks after making the purchase. Nintendo would likely have to look into implementing time limits on the purchases so that people couldn't play through and beat the entire game within two weeks and then get a refund. That's already an issue for some Steam games where people purchase them and then spend an hour or so in the title, beat it and then refund it. Obviously this method doesn't work for games as large as Super Mario Odyssey or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but for a lot of smaller games it would apply.

Nintendo is expected to respond to the Norwegian Consumer Council and address the concerns of the consumer advocacy group. If Nintendo doesn't have a plan to remedy the situation the way Valve, EA, Sony, Microsoft and even Blizzard managed to do, then it wouldn't be shocking to find out that the NCC could end up taking Nintendo to court over the issue.

Usually the better way about these things is to just make sure that consumers are properly taken care of with the necessary options to cancel pre-orders, cancel pre-purchases, get refunds for games within a certain allotted time and also not have to worry about these things when making digital purchases.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.