Nintendo has decided to discontinue the sale of digital download codes for its games at European retailers, effective July 1, 2020.
For years, Nintendo fans have had many ways to buy their favorite games. You can grab a boxed copy of the game of your choice from physical or online retailers, download a new title from Nintendo’s own eShop, or even purchase a download code for some of your favorite games – and often cheaper – retailers.
This last choice will unfortunately no longer be available in Europe. Nintendo has confirmed the decision to end the availability of download codes for its own released titles in a statement provided to Nintendo Life:
After careful consideration of the development of the European market in recent years, Nintendo has decided to end the availability of download codes for its own software released through retailers, effective 1st July 2020.
Customers will still be able to purchase Nintendo eShop funds, Nintendo Switch Online memberships, and add-on content such as PokÃ©mon Sword and PokÃ©mon Shield Expansion Pass, at retailers across Europe. Download codes for Nintendo Switch software from other vendors will also still be available.
We are always looking for new avenues and will continue to work on new ways to bring Nintendo eShop content to as many players as possible.
As you can see, download codes for third party games and other products like DLC and Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions will still be available, but you will no longer be able to redeem cheap codes for full games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons Where Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
UK retailer ShopTo has already notified shoppers of the change on social networks, noting that it will continue to sell codes for DLC, as explained in Nintendo’s statement, while urging fans to collect all full games before they are retired later that evening.
Buying digital codes from retailers has been reliably one of the most affordable ways to buy new Nintendo games in recent years, so we’re sad to see the option go. In the future, digital fans may want to consider using Nintendo’s own gaming voucher program.