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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Will Gifting Ever Return to Nintendo Digital Downloads?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's ask the source.

At the beginning of 2016, Nintendo totally renovated their online digital games purchasing system. KoopaTV covered that, but we also noted the loss of gifting functionality because it no longer uses download codes.

This gifting functionality used to exist back from 2014 to when the site was renovated, and I'd know, as someone who has both sent and received download codes generated from this service.

I and many others are upset about it (or will be upset if they know about it — so share the article we wrote on it, please, or this one). Is there any hope for gifts to return? Gift-giving is important. It's how KoopaTV can give specific game prizes that aren't just currency codes. It's how people can give birthday presents and other nice things to their friends. Would you rather receive $35 in an eShop gift card, or receive Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam costing $35? ...Well, I'd pick the gift card, but I will say that specific game gifts are a great way to get people to try, play, and hopefully enjoy games they would not otherwise buy on their own.

(The game is great, by the way.)

I think Nintendo is aware of this side-effect, but I think this is important enough that we should campaign for it back. It doesn't need to be download codes returning, but why not a specific feature that says NNID ABC can gift a game to NNID XYZ? Like the Wii Shop Channel on the Wii?

This is actually something Nintendo of America would be able to answer, since it's their dang site. With that said...

...On April 17, I sent this support ticket: 

Nintendo Support Create Help Ticket Contact can't place order Wii U purchases downloads
“Can't place order” is a creative way to describe the problem.
Dear Nintendo Customer Support Representative,

With the new, you have done a good job linking Nintendo Network IDs and Nintendo eShop balances to online purchases.

However, this new system no longer has download codes, as it was on the old way of buying digitally downloadable games from One effect of this is that customers may no longer buy a game, obtain a download code for it, and then gift the code to a friend or family member so they can download the game as a gift from the customer. The old system back in 2014 actually encouraged this behaviour in a FAQ.

Is Nintendo working on a way to have gifting games to other people return? If not, may I suggest Nintendo work on such a functionality? It would be a big help for people trying to buy awesome Nintendo game gifts for their friends and family, or to use games as prizes over the Internet.

Thank you,

Now, let me say this. Nintendo also revamped their contact us page. Now it has all of these nice icon pictures, and it has tabs dividing Products and Services and Corporate Questions. And the icons light up if you move your cursor over them. Unfortunately, everything on Corporate Questions is the same light blue. Oversight, or is it a testament to how boring and uniform corporate life is?

Nintendo Support topics questions icons products and services corporate
I hope someone can explain the Piracy icon to me. I know those are crossbones, but what's the eye supposed to mean?

Enough of that. You're waiting patiently for the response. And so was I. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait very long. Less than 24 hours, in fact. Heck, less than 20.


Hello Ludwig,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us with your feedback regarding the purchase of games via I most certainly understand your thoughts on this matter and want you to know how much we appreciate you sending them in.

I assure you that your comments will be added to our records and will be made available for other departments at the company to review and thoughtfully consider.


Nintendo of America inc.
Amanda N.

...Well, that wasn't very... descriptive. In fact, it's very nearly the same answer I received over two years ago from Celilo Nordal regarding how the Nintendo eShop locks out people whose NNIDs are below 17 years old when trying to purchase M-rated videogames. (That's a problem for a large variety of reasons, as I was explaining throughout early 2014.)

That said, Amanda doesn't have a last name. She also most certainly understands my thoughts, while Celilo merely did with normal levels of certainty. Amanda also said the other departments at the company will “thoughtfully consider” gifting, while Celilo stated that the other departments will merely use them as they see fit. ...Amanda also forgot to capitalise the 'i' in Inc. Woops.

I think now that Nintendo is aware of the problem, they'll slowly work to do something about restoring gifting functionality. ...Just as slow as allowing parents to override the M-rated lockout in the Nintendo eShop. So... never.

...So to answer the article's title: Doubt it. MAYBE they'll make functionality for it by November in time for the gift-giving holidays. Or maybe we'll have an entirely new console by then. Who knows.

Ludwig encourages you to send similar e-mails to Nintendo, so the records on this topic will have a thicker folder. For whatever reason, he imagines that all of these are converted into paper records and put into a giant records room, but hopefully that isn't the case and Nintendo is running a paperless operation. If you want to send gifts or bribes to Ludwig, you'll now have to find other ways than download codes. Start by giving him a Follow on Miiverse!

Ludwig does a bunch of gifting for his staffer...over six years later.


  1. Looks like you'll have to trust me to purchase FE:9-10 with eShop gift cards if they ever are available on the eShop.

    1. Fortunately, it'll be a lot less to trust you with than if I gave you Amazon gift cards to pay for those instead. I doubt they'll be on the eShop at this point.

      I guess some places might still sell download codes in RETAIL for specific games. I've seen that. I don't know if that's widespread, though it looks like you can buy those online, too.
      For example, EarthBound. If you buy this online, it'll pop out a download code.

      Too bad these are for specific games and PROBABLY in limited supply.


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