Close eShop Wii U and 3DS: Nintendo is accused of being “destructive” against preservation

The closure of the Nintendo eShop for Wii U and 3DS has hit like a bombshell. From the end of March 2023 it will no longer be possible to buy digital titles in these stores, which will mean the disappearance of hundreds of video games that were only available through these services. Although players will be able to download purchased titles again (at least in the short term), the criticism has not been long in appearing. The Video Game History Foundation has charged against Nintendo and has accused the Japanese of putting sticks in the wheels against the preservation of the environment.

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“They prevent libraries from providing access”

“While it’s unfortunate that people won’t be able to purchase 3DS and Wii U games digitally, we understand the commercial realities that have led them to make this decision. What we don’t understand is the path Nintendo expects fans to take, should they wish to play those titles in the future.

The foundation highlights that Nintendo, as a member of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), is lobbying “to prevent even libraries from providing legal access to these games.” According to the statement, not providing commercial access “is understandable”, but torpedoing “institutional work” to “preserve these titles” is “destructive for the video game industry”.

This body has urged those from Kyoto and other members of the ESA to “rethink their position” on this matter and to work with “insistent institutions” to find a solution to this problem. On Twitter, the president of the Video Game History Foundation has written the following words:

“The commercial industry is never going to offer complete access to its old catalog and our federal government is making it nearly impossible for even libraries to help access. No one is going to save video game history except all of us. That will never change.”

Font | Video Game History Foundation