Nintendo Switch Online Service Won't Guarantee Cloud Saves if Membership Expires

Nintendo is preparing to launch its Switch Online service on Sept. 18, but one of its key features may not work as fans expect.

According to Nintendo UK's FAQ page for the Switch Online service, players whose memberships expire may lose their cloud save file immediately. Here's what the page says:

"Q. After my Nintendo Switch Online subscription expires, will my Save Data Cloud files and Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online save data be erased?

A. Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership. Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online also uses the Save Data Cloud, so the same applies. However, if you keep the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online save data saved locally on your Nintendo Switch console, then you can use it again if you purchase another membership."

However, the North American Nintendo Support page states there may be a grace period that lets players retrieve their save files after re-subscribing:

" We are unable to guarantee that cloud save data will be retained after an extended period of time from when your membership is ended. However, you can continue to use the save data that is saved to your system memory."

We have reached out to Nintendo for clarification on the issue.

The cloud save data is one five key features for the Nintendo Switch Online service. While the hardware itself backs up save files locally, if a player's Switch is broken, lost or stolen then they can retrieve and upload their save files into a new console.

For comparison's sake, PS Plus subscribers have six months to re-subscribe being losing their save files, while Xbox Live doesn't have an expiration on save files.

What do you think of the possibility of save files being lost? Do you believe Nintendo will install a grace period? Let us know in the comments section below.