European court: Nintendo doesn't have to offer refunds for digital pre-orders

In context: Nintendo has been on a hot streak in the legal arena lately. Just yesterday, the company managed to convince a federal court to overturn a previous ruling that would have forced it to pay out roughly $10 million as part of a prior patent dispute judgement. Now, a European court has ruled in the video game giant’s favor as well.

For roughly two years, according to Norwegian gaming site PressFire, Nintendo has been locked in a legal dispute (Google Translated version here) with Norwegian and German “consumer authorities” regarding digital game refunds.

Specifically, refunds for digital game pre-orders. Right now, Nintendo does not allow customers to cancel orders for digital games that have not been launched.

“Except as authorized by Nintendo or as required by applicable law, all payments that you make through the Shopping Services (including pre-purchases and Subscription payments) are final and non refundable, and Products may not be returned or exchanged,” Nintendo’s official “Purchase and Subscription Terms” documentation reads.

Like many business practices of Nintendo’s, this refund policy is quite different than that of many others. Even some of the most controversial figures in the gaming industry (we won’t point fingers here) offer full refunds on digital pre-orders.

At any rate, the consumer authorities mentioned before sued Nintendo in the hopes of forcing the company to change its ways. Unfortunately for them and any consumers who felt their cause was just, that suit has failed.

Not only will Nintendo be allowed to retain its current digital pre-order policies, but the plaintiffs will be required to pay the company’s legal fees (standard practice for cases of this magnitude). The plaintiffs have appealed the court’s decision, but it remains to be seen whether or not that will work out.

Image credit: Market Realist, Nintendo Life

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