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The upcoming Nintendo Switch Online service is scheduled to drop this month, bringing cloud data saves. Some games won’t be included, though, because Nintendo doesn’t want to enable cheaters.
Once it launches, the $20 a year service for your Switch will let users save their games to the cloud and sync them between devices. However, some games will be left out of this support. In a statement to CNET, Nintendo claims that the majority of games will support cloud data sync, but a few won’t to prevent unfair game manipulation:
The vast majority of Nintendo Switch games will support Save Data Cloud backup. However, in certain games this feature would make it possible to, for example, regain items that had been traded to other players, or revert to a higher online multiplayer ranking that had been lost. To ensure fair play, Save Data Cloud backup may not be enabled for such games.
To ensure that Save Data Cloud backups cannot be used to unfairly affect online multiplayer rankings, the feature will not be enabled in Splatoon 2.
Splatoon 2 isn’t the only game that will be affected. Game listings for several Switch games state that Save Data Cloud Backup won’t be available, including (but not limited to) the following games:
Most of these games have an element of progression or online multiplayer ranking that could be influenced if users area able to revert to previous game saves. Quick saving before a big fight and reloading after you get your face handed back to you is a common and easily exploitable trick in single-player games, which is fine. It starts to become a problem when you’re competing with others.
That being said, it’s a bit of a stretch for Nintendo to say that blocking cloud saves is necessary to prevent cheating. On other platforms, things like item collections and multiplayer rankings are handled on the server side, rather than stored locally on a user’s device. It’s possible that Nintendo doesn’t have as sophisticated of a system for verifying users’ progress or items as other platforms do—the fact that the company is only getting around to cloud saves at all in 2018 would lend credibility to this theory—so it makes sense that Nintendo would block cloud saves for certain games within this system. Still, it would be nice if Nintendo was a little more aggressive in stepping into the modern online age.
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