Nintendo have been on the receiving end of controversy when it has come to their digital pre-order policy, namely due to the inability for anyone to cancel their pre-order after payment has been completed. Up until now, anyone who pre-ordered a digital game from the Nintendo eShop was required to make a payment up front for the game equivalent to the cost of the title on release, following which the pre-order could not be canceled. Following public pressure, Nintendo have amended this policy to allow players to cancel digital pre-orders up to 7 days before the game’s release.
While Nintendo had received pressure surrounding their pre-order policy before this, the issue of cancellations became a major talking point surrounding the announcement of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE in Japan. When the game was announced, the Japanese Nintendo website featured screenshots from the Japanese Wii U game even though all releases worldwide were to be based on the international release the game which featured some minor changes. As a result, some fans who pre-ordered the game were annoyed, and Nintendo eventually offered refunds to fans who were no longer interested in the game based on this news.
While the miscommunication on Nintendo’s part only helped to amplify the issues with the company’s old pre-order policy, starting today a new pre-order process for digital game should resolve many people’s complaints. Starting today, payment for digital pre-orders won’t be taken when the game is ordered on the Nintendo eShop. After pre-orders have been made, players are free to cancel the game up until 7 days before the game’s planned release date. From this point, payment will be taken by Nintendo and pre-orders can no longer be canceled.
Although the policy shift is currently only cited on Nintendo’s official Japanese website, this new policy has been implemented worldwide and works on pre-orders made on European and US eShop stores as well.
This policy is much fairer to the consumer since it gives the customer the power to change their mind on a game if they pre-order it and then decide later that they no longer want it. This is a welcome shift from Nintendo when it comes to digital pre-orders. Just make sure to remember about your pre-orders, or that sudden payment for a game you forgot about is going to sting!