Nintendo eShop closes 100% off loophole

Nintendo eShop sales will no longer factor free games into the leaderboards – the days of developers “selling” a game 100% to climb the sales leaderboard are apparently over.

Earlier, smaller game publisher No More Robots detailed the results of an informal analysis of the company’s Nintendo eShop sales. In it, Mike Rose found that deep discounts played a big role in helping games climb the rankings.

The ability to shrink a game to 100% was used in a rather interesting way last year – Qubic Games gave away 10 Nintendo Switch games last year in a chain event. Take game #1 on day 1 and you would be eligible for game #2 on day 2 and so on. However, a 100% discount also allowed some games to climb the sales charts very quickly (which would consequently lead to actual sales once the discount ended). Now that can’t happen anymore.

What’s changed in Nintendo eShop?

Simply put, it looks like Nintendo has changed its store ranking algorithm to exclude games that have been 100% discounted. That’s not to say that games can’t be offered at a 100% discount, it’s just that these “sales” will no longer help a game move up the ranks. Nobody knows exactly when the change happened; it was recently revealed by the GameDiscoverCo newsletter and then reported on MCV UK.

“I think in about a year the eShop will look like the [Apple] App store[…]– Mike Rose, No More Robots

“The way it is now, I think in about a year the eShop is going to be like the App Store – tons of cheap titles that have clearly been thrown together in the span of a few months, all sold out at a dollar each,” Mike Rose of No More Robots told MCV UK. “And anyone who tries to earn an honest living on Switch will not be able to. I can’t imagine how it’s going to be any other way.”

Despite these changes, there will likely still be steep discounts on the eShop based on Mike Rose’s analysis which was detailed in September 2020. If this turns out to be the case, we can expect a drop general prices – with all the positive and negative implications that go with it.

What do you think of the games ranked on the Nintendo eShop sales charts with a 100% discount? Do you think games should be cheaper in general or are their prices generally ok? Let us know in the comments below!

Timothy C. Mayo