Back on June 29th, Nintendo notified European retailers that they would no longer be allowed to sell First-Party Digital Codes starting on July 1st, 2020. According to a Tweet by the UK retailer ShopTo, Nintendo notified the company that all retailers in the EMEA territories will no longer “be able to offer/sell Nintendo digital full games.” While digital codes are affected for full games, add-ons, memberships, and third-party software codes can still be sold in European retailers.
Hi, 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.
We will however, be continuing to offer/sell online membership and add ons, so, with this in… pic.twitter.com/11hrqvEU1m
— ShopTo (@shoptonet) June 29, 2020
While the reasons for why European retailers are no longer able to sell first-party software digital codes have not been fully revealed, Nintendo has released a statement to Nintendo Life that does shed some light onto why this has occurred. According to a statement that Nintendo gave to Nintendo life, Nintendo made this decision after “…careful examination of the evolving European marketplace in recent years” implying that the reason behind why this has occurred may be financial in origin, rather than as some sort of punitive measure. This can be supported by Nintendo Life’s statement that buying from retailers is often “cheaper” than purchasing a physical copy or directly from the Nintendo Eshop.
While Nintendo is no longer allowing the sale of digital codes via retailers in Europe, it is possible that they are looking for another way to increase access to Nintendo fans as can be seen from their statement that they are “…We’re always investigating new avenues, and will continue to work on new methods to bring Nintendo eShop content to as many players as possible.”