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Nintendo is blocking Switch games from extreme eShop discounts

Keep your pennies

a hand holding a yellow Nintendo Switch Lite showing Mario Kart 8’s title screen Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon

While the Nintendo Switch is a great system, one of its biggest flaws has to be the eShop. In addition to being slow and hard to navigate, certain tabs — like the best sellers or great deals page — were often notoriously full of dubious games of varying quality. Said games only became visible because developers figured out that, if you price games for a pittance, you can manipulate the system and top the charts, regardless of quality. After all, what do potential buyers have to lose when a game only costs a penny?

Well, things seem to be changing — and have been for a while, according to a recent report in Simon Carless’ GameDiscoverCo newsletter. According to Carless, Nintendo previously put a hold on allowing games that cost a single cent from getting on the best-sellers list. Indeed, when Polygon checked on Thursday afternoon, there were only games that cost at least $1.99 and above listed on the Nintendo Switch eShop bestsellers tab.

Changes are also afoot for the great deals tab, which is mostly populated by well-known games or discounted titles that cost at least $1.99 as well. Nintendo did not immediately provide comment. Granted, $1.99 is still extremely cheap for a video game, but at least having a bar for what can qualify can help stop some shenanigans.

A stopgap was apparently also put in place to disallow developers from providing 100% “discounts” to players who already owned a game from their catalog, the report notes. Given the Nintendo Switch’s ongoing sales success, along with the number of games that get released every week, it’s no wonder that game creators seek every advantage they can get.

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