Nintendo stops shops from selling Switch digital download codes in Europe
Retailers will no longer be able to sell download codes for first party Nintendo games in Europe, with the eShop now the only way to buy.
In a move that is not going to go down well with fans, Nintendo are preventing stores from selling digital download codes of their games, meaning that the only place you can buy digital versions of first party Nintendo games is via the Switch eShop.
Third party games, i.e. those published by someone other than Nintendo, are unaffected but ShopTo revealed the news that it and other retailers will no longer be able to sell codes from today.
Even if it was only a little bit, retailers often offered a discount on Nintendo games, but this means that, baring the (very) occasional sale, they’ll now only ever be sold at full price.
Nintendo first party games are notorious for rarely ever dropping in price, as they remain popular for the entirety of a console’s lifetime. Which means that physical copies of games, which are unaffected by the new rules, are also usually always full price.
Why there’s been this sudden change in policy though, and why only in Europe, is a mystery, with Nintendo providing only a frustrating non-explanation to Nintendo Life.
‘After careful examination of the evolving European marketplace in recent years, Nintendo has decided to end the availability of download codes for its own-published software via retailers’, says the statement.
‘We’re always investigating new avenues and will continue to work on new methods to bring Nintendo eShop content to as many players as possible.’
Nintendo point out that eShop funds, Nintendo Switch Online memberships, and DLC content, as well as third party games, can still be sold by retailers, which means that discounts are still possible on eShop credit.
Still, it’s an unnecessary home goal in terms of PR, especially as the new rules have been put into place with no warning whatsoever.
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