German Court Rules in Nintendo's Favour Over eShop Practices

By Alistair Jones on at

A German court has ruled that Nintendo's eShop pre-order practices are not illegal under European law. The issue was first raised back in February 2018, but was finally dismissed last month.

Concerns were initially voiced by the Norwegian Consumer Council, which pointed out that consumers had the right to cancel a pre-order at any point before the release of a game. When purchasing games through the eShop, however, consumers are forced to tick a box that waives that right, stating that Nintendo performs its obligations to the consumer at the start of the pre-order, and that "I thereby lose my right to cancel."

The NCC said that those terms are illegal, but as noted by Norwegian website Press Fire (via Eurogamer), Nintendo's defence was based on another European law, which states that right to refund no longer applies if "the performance has begun with the consumer's prior express consent and his acknowledgement that he thereby loses his right of withdrawal."

According to a German court, that's exactly what happened, and the case has been settled in Nintendo's favour. Both the NCC and its German equivalent have appealed the decision, claiming that a pre-order shouldn't count as a finished product if you can't play it before launch. The appeal process could take up to 18 months to complete.