Nintendo has recently announced that their paid online subscription service will be rolling out on Sep 18 with a week-long free trial coming with it as well. For a small yearly fee of $19.99, Switch owners will be able to play their favorite games online, have access to dozens of classic NES titles upgraded with online features, cloud back-ups for their save files, and special discounts and offers only available to subscribers. But according to the FAQ section on the official Nintendo UK site, it seems that save data stored with the cloud will not be kept safe outside of the duration of your online membership, which means that if your membership expires or you decide to not pay up, your precious game saves will be gone forever.
A different section of Nintendo of America’s site states something a bit differently about the state of the cloud saves after the termination of an online membership: “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 can assume that your cloud saves will be safe after ending your subscription, but not for long. Comparing this function with how cloud saves work with Xbox One and PS4 makes the Switch look extremely inferior in terms of keeping players saves safe. On PS4, Sony keeps your cloud back-ups months after ending your PS Plus subscription and Microsoft offers free cloud saves to everyone, regardless if they’re subscribed to Xbox Live Gold or not.