Thieves Steal Lorry Full of Splatoon Games from Nintendo of Europe

Do you ever feel like Nintendo can’t catch a break?

First they get bashed by pretty much the entirety of the gaming industry.  Then the criticism catches up with reality and knocks out the Wii U before it can even remotely close to being succesful.  And now… the shipment of Splatoon games meant for the UK get nicked.

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Above: If you were getting one of these special edition copies, it’s now gone for good.

Literally.  The lorry carring special editions of Splatoon (as well as Splatoon related Amiibos) has been stolen.  As a result, anyone who’s pre ordered the special edition version with Squid Amiibo is now without their special edition game and will have to make do with the standard copy and a standard Splatoon Amiibo.  As per Nintendo UK’s official statement on the matter:

We can confirm that the lorry transporting the Splatoon stock from Nintendo’s European warehouse to GAME UK has been stolen. Included as part of this delivery was GAME’s allocation of the Splatoon + Squid Inkling amiibo and as a result we are unable to honour pre-orders for this item in GAME. We are working with GAME to contact those customers affected. Whilst these unfortunate circumstances were out of Nintendo UK and GAME’s control, we apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment that this has caused.

And here’s what GAME said on the matter, with details about how they’re replacing the lost pre orders:

We regret to inform you that the lorry transporting the Splatoon stock from Nintendo’s European warehouse to GAME UK has been stolen. Included in this delivery was our allocation of the Splatoon + Squid Inkling amiibo. As a result, we are unable to honour your original pre-order due for delivery on the 29th May 2015.

Due to these extraordinary circumstances, we will unfortunately not be getting replacements for these missing items. We have no option but to substitute the Splatoon + Squid Inkling in your order with the standard version of the game. You will still receive your Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy amiibo. We will be discounting this edition by £10 from £52.99 to £42.99 to apologise for this inconvenience. We will also be sending your order by First Class post on Friday 29th May, as we want to make sure that you are happy with this substitution.

If you wish to cancel your complete order, or cancel your Splatoon game order and place an order for just the Inkling Girl or Boy amiibo (priced £14.99 each), please contact customer services on 0208 827 0099 or email us at customer.services@game.co.uk by midday Friday. If you wish to accept this substitution you do not need to contact us.

It’s a nice attempt to make up for the loss, but… it’s not quite the same.  The exclusive Amiibo is gone, the fancy box art is gone.  You get a nice enough discount, but it’s still a pretty big loss.

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Nintendo of Japan Doesn’t Show Tax on the eShop?

Usually, you’d think Nintendo would be a fairly… ethical company.  Okay, they’ve done a couple of questionable things in the past with the Nintendo Creator Program and the whole claiming on ad revenues, but they haven’t usually done anything classed as legally grey.

But now, it turns out their Japanese branch may be doing something a bit less justifiable.  Namely, their online shop does not list the prices for games with tax included, making them appear significantly cheaper than they actually are.

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And do you know what’s worse here?

They’re not even doing this across the board.  They’re listing prices minus tax for first party games, but including it in the price for third party ones.  That’s pretty dodgy if you ask us, coming across as trying to unfairly promote their own work above that of their partners and third party companies.

So is this legal?  Well, we are not lawyers.  But from what we can understand of various resources about tax laws and display taxes in product prices, it seems like various places outside of the US tend to require taxes to be included in the price.  From the UK Trading Standards Quick Guide:

http://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/pricing-and-payment/price-marking-of-goods-for-retail-sale#WhataboutVATandothercharges

All price indications that can be seen by consumers must include VAT and any other compulsory charges or taxes. Postage, packing or delivery charges may be shown separately as long as they are unambiguous, easily identifiable and clearly legible.

And from the Australian equivalent:

https://www.accc.gov.au/business/pricing/displaying-prices

When you present prices to your customers, you must state the total price of the good or service as a single figure, which is the minimum total cost that is able to be calculated. This should include any tax, duty, fee, levy or other additional charges (e.g. GST or airport tax).

But that’s just how the law is over here.  The Japanese law may differ, so perhaps over there you can simply state the taxes as a separate line and be legally okay.  We don’t know.  Our regional equivalents of the eShop do tend to include taxes in the displayed prices.

Is anyone out there an expert in Japanese law that has any interesting insights to whether this is legal or not?  Or whether it would be breaching some trading standards style guidelines to only include taxes in displayed prices for competitor products?

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