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Nintendo wins lawsuit in EU, so forget about cancelling preorders

Published: 11:42, 23 January 2020
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Super Mario with zombie eyes in front of Nintendo eshop sign
Nintendo: Must. Not. Give. Refund.

In a surprising turn of events for EU consumers, a German court ruled in Nintendo's favour in the joint Norwegian and German attempt to force the Japanese company to rethink their refund policy. As things stand though, their eShop preorders still can't be cancelled.

As reported by the Norwegian portal Pressfire, who have been following the case closely for the past few years, Norwegian and German authorities are very disappointed with the outcome of the case. They've already appealed the decision, but this means another year or so of legal back and forth. 

There aren't many details available, as the legal restrictions of countries working together prevent this, but there's enough for consumers to understand what's been going on. 

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) has taken offence at Nintendo's eShop policy that stated how "all purchases are final", and advised consumers to check before forking out the cash. Once they do, it's pretty much Nintendo's money, and that's according to their policy and the current court ruling.

Nintendo argued that NCC's claims are not valid because eShop preorders allow you to preload the game immediately after purchase. They claim that this complies with the legal requirements whereby the "performance has begun", i.e. the sales contract has been fulfilled. 

NCC, on the other hand, claim that the preloading of a game doesn't constitute a functional product and therefore doesn't comply with the "performance has begun" guideline. Unfortunately, the court thought otherwise, so here we are. 

Nintendo Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Blue shell Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Blue shell

We're certainly not the legal authority in this matter, but we find it peculiar that the court would consider a preloaded game a functional product. A placeholder icon is neither functional nor a product, but it's exactly these issues that the case is likely to centre on, which means a lot more time for Nintendo to keep their refund policy in place. 

You can find the Pressfire piece here (in Norwegian) or refer to the translation that Reddit user Fawesum kindly posted and summarized on Reddit

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