As legislation over predatory or questionable practices regarding digital content has continued, the focus has mostly been on lootboxes and perceived gambling and other predatory practices of microtransactions. However, one matter that has been caught in the scrutiny of the digital marketplace has been refunds on pre-orders of digital content. With this in mind, Nintendo has made a major update to its refund policies, allowing players to cancel pre-orders all the way up until the week before a game’s launch when the transaction occurs and the pre-download begins.
Nintendo’s update to its refund policies occurred fairly recently and can be seen on the official Nintendo Support pages, as reported by Engadget on September 1. The new policies under cancelation of orders on the Nintendo Switch eShop dictate that players can cancel pre-orders all the way up until the “time of payment.” Under the Regarding Payment section of the same page, Nintendo points out that the time of payment on a pre-order is seven days before a game launches. That means pre-orders can be canceled up to a week before the pre-ordered game’s release date.
Nintendo’s new policies come on top of a long line of attention to the digital marketplace of entertainment and particularly video games. Loot boxes and microtransactions have long been under the microscope in litigation and legislation all over the world, from fines to free-to-play publishers in South Korea to US Senate legislation looking at full-on bans of loot boxes and pay-to-win practices. Steam has pushed several updates to make its refund system more consumer-friendly and legally nebulous, and it seems like Nintendo is following suit.
Either way, what it means to the consumer for now is that there’s plenty of time to avoid buyer’s remorse on upcoming Nintendo Switch games through the eShop’s new purchase and refund policies.