Players who managed to successfully score an early copy of NEO: The World Ends With You over the weekend are in for an unhappy surprise if they happen to go online today. Following an accidental leak of the full retail version of NEO: The World Ends With You, Square Enix is revoking licenses for the game, effectively scrubbing the game from their account until release date.
Rumors of the removal began circulating this afternoon, with several players reporting that they had been kicked out of their game. One Reddit user said they were just “an hour or two away” from finishing the game when they were kicked out — an impressive feat given that the story reportedly takes some 50 hours to complete.
“Nintendo have remotely revoked all digital licenses for the game after Square Enix accidentally sold eShop codes early,” Switch dataminer OatmealDome wrote on Twitter. “Players were kicked out mid-game with the error code 2819-0003. This is, as far as I and others know, a first for the Switch.”
The NEO: The World Ends With You codes were originally leaked on July 17, with some players receiving digital activation codes by mistake after purchasing a physical copy on the Square Enix store. Fans quickly rushed to get an early code that would allow them to play the anticipated sequel 10 days early.
While many were successful, well-known Twitter user Wario64 — who was among the first to alert users of the leak — cautioned them to play with the Switch’s airplane mode turned on lest Square Enix try to revoke the code. It turns out this caution was warranted. With their licenses revoked, users will have to wait for their physical copies to arrive, or buy an entirely new version online. Any save data from the revoked version will no longer be usable.
IGN contacted both Square Enix and Nintendo for statements following the removal. We will update this story if we hear anything. In the meantime, there’s always the demo, right? The World Ends With You will be out on Switch and PS4 on July 27, with a PC release due later this summer.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN.