It’s been making the rounds, but I feel it’s worth echoing. When the DS and Wii online servers shut down, it was forced because Nintendo’s partner who maintained the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Servers decided they didn’t want to do that any more. This is Nintendo’s own decision here.
The big game affected here is the first Splatoon, which still has, for now, free online play with the purchase of the game. Also affected will be Mario Kart 7 and Animal Crossing New Leaf for 3DS.
There will be some who will shrug over this, saying Nintendo shouldn’t be expected to run these services indefinitely. Sometimes they will shrug quite loudly. I am not one of them. I think online servers should be kept going for much longer than most companies run them. I think this should be considered part of the contract they entered into when they sold the game. It is true that 3DS and WiiU games had free online server access, that Nintendo’s multiplayer subscription service began with the Switch. But I still think the way I do, and I also think it’s foolish to think that, just because it’s a paid service, that Switch servers will be kept running for any longer than the 3DS and WiiU servers were.
My concern is an issue of software preservation. These kinds of games and services are in danger of being outright lost in their current form, like many MMORPGs, and iOS and Android games for previous versions of those OSes. I feel very strongly that this software should be remembered and made available for future generations. It’s true that there are efforts to reverse engineer these kinds of services, but there is no guarantee that they will be completely accurate, or even successful at all, especially if they rely on secret algorithms and information housed on the official servers.
Ah well. Get in those free splatmatches while you can. Their days are numbered.