Over the weekend, a strange glitch on the Square Enix store gave The World Ends with You fans an early Christmas present. Those who preordered the physical copies of the Switch version of the game were sent an email containing a North American eShop code for the full game, which was able to be activated immediately. When word got out about the occurrence, people pre-ordering new copies also got the email until later in the afternoon when the store — which is operated by eCommerce outlet Scalefast — put a stop it.
In the intervening three days, Square Enix said nothing about the early codes and people seemed to be able to play the game just fine. Wikis for The World Ends with You filled up with spoilers for the new game a full ten days before its July 27 release from people rushing to finish the game as quickly as possible.
While Square Enix can’t do anything about the people who have already played the game, they have since revoked the licenses from the codes that did get out there. What this means is that players who were midgame and connected to the internet got a message saying “Play is being suspended.” The rest of the error message is about how the account may have more than one person signed in at once, likely because this is the first time a publisher has had to revoke a license on Switch en masse and Nintendo doesn’t have specific wording for that error.
It is unclear what Square Enix plans to do beyond this or if they’re ever going to even acknowledge it happened. After getting codes, a number of physical edition purchasers on Reddit and Twitter claimed to try and cancel their actual purchase, but most requests were placed under review. The calculus for refunds may change now that the digital version no longer works for them.
NEO: The World Ends with You releases on Switch and PS4 on July 27 with a PC version coming later in the summer.