Nintendo may be in hot water in Europe. Earlier this year, the Norwegian government began investigating Nintendo over their policy of not allowing cancellations on digital pre-orders made on the eShop. Once you’ve paid for an upcoming game, no matter how far off it is, there are no refunds. Certain European governments have not taken kindly to this policy, and now the German Consumer Protection Authority is taking Nintendo to court over it.
German officials claim that Nintendo is in violation of the law with this policy, but Nintendo argues that they’re fine due to the fact that you can pre-load the games. Nintendo points to article 16 of European Consumer Law Directive, which allows a company to skip the refund option if “the performance has begun with the consumer’s prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader.”
The German Consumer Protection Authority disagrees with this interpretation of the law. According to them, until the game is launched in full, Nintendo is bound by law to offer cancellations and refunds for paying customers. Nintendo will begin the process of defending their position in court early next year, but the proceedings could take many months.