As of yesterday (1st July, 2020) Nintendo has removed the sale of digital download codes across European retailers.
This might sound a little convoluted, so here’s some clarity; previously, you could purchase the traditional physical copy of a game. This is alongside the ability to purchase digital copies from the eShop and other, online marketplaces.
It’s that last option that is no longer available.
This circumvents the “Nintendo Tax” (where first-party IPs would still retail near full price even years after launch). Digital retailers were able to give Nintendo download codes to customers at (sometimes) lower prices.
Nintendo confirmed the news in a statement sent to Nintendo Life;
“After careful examination of the evolving European marketplace in recent years, Nintendo has decided to end the availability of download codes for its own-published software via retailers, effective 1st July 2020.
Customers will still be able to purchase Nintendo eShop funds, Switch Online memberships, and add-on content such as the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass, at retailers across Europe. Download codes for Switch software from other publishers will also still be available.
We’re always investigating new avenues and will continue to work on new methods to bring eShop content to as many players as possible”.
So Long, Cheap(er) Nintendo Titles
ShopTo was amongst the first to make the announcement to customers;
“…just to let everyone know, due to a Nintendo decision for all EMEA territories, as from Tomorrow 30/06/20 at 23:00 we are no longer able to offer/sell Nintendo digital full games”.
It should be noted that this move only affects first-party games (Pokémon, Mario, Zelda etc). All other games that are available on the Switch will still be available on digital retailers.
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