Bad news for gamers in the UK and EU has been unveiled this week as Nintendo implemented a new policy that locks purchases of digital games to Nintendo's eShop.

A new policy that appears to have gone live at Nintendo this week prevents retailers in Europe and the UK from selling digital codes of Nintendo games through their storefronts.

That means any Nintendo-developed games – Pokemon Sword/Shield, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Animal Crossing and The Legend of Zelda titles, for instance – must be purchased them directly from the eShop from here on out.

Hints towards this new policy were originally spotted thanks to a tweet from ShopTo, who told customers that from midnight (CEST time) on July 1, it could no longer 'offer/sell Nintendo digital full games'.

Shortly afterwards, Nintendo Life received comment from Nintendo itself. In a statement, the company clarified the situation.

“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,” Nintendo states.

“Customers will still be able to purchase Nintendo eShop funds, Nintendo Switch Online memberships, and add-on content such as the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Expansion Pass, at retailers across Europe.

"Download codes for Nintendo Switch software from other publishers will also still be available.”

The downside here is that often you'd see independent retailers offering games at a lower price via their own stores than you'd find on Nintendo eShop.

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Most first-party Nintendo titles tend to stay between £40 and £50, even years after they're released, on the eShop.

Other retailers would often sell these games for lower prices, meaning you could pick up Nintendo first-party digital codes for as little as £30 or £35 in some case.

Who knows – now that Nintendo has more control over its digital purchases and has eliminated a factor that would have been denting its revenue, we may see more sales pop up via its own store, discounting first-party games to lower than we've previously seen.

Honestly, though, we're not holding our breath for something like that to happen.