Home Nintendo Wii U fans hang on more than a month after server shutdown, breaking a record

Nintendo Wii U fans hang on more than a month after server shutdown, breaking a record


  • Multiplayer support for 3DS and Wii U ended as of April 8
  • Players of Splatoon and other fan-favorite titles have stayed online, breaking a 14-year-old record.
  • Splatoon actually got a new map rotation meantime; it’s scheduled for the next 10 years

Nintendo cut off multiplayer servers for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U at the beginning of April, but a group of dedicated Splatoon players have steadfastly remained online, and in the process beaten a record set by fellow fans of Halo 2 more than a decade ago.

To recap: Nintendo announced back in January that online multiplayer for Nintendo-published games on both platforms would end on April 8, as the Wii U (which launched in 2012) and 3DS (2011) are no longer supported. Both are effectively obsolete, now seven years into the lifespan of the mobile-console hybrid Nintendo Switch, which is due for a successor console soon.

But the shutdown, for now at least, didn’t kick everyone off the servers, it just meant new players couldn’t log in if they weren’t already there. Anyone who has remained online has been able to stay.

And stay there, apparently, as long as they kept their consoles on and the game running. Over the weekend, one such fan trumpeted that players of Pokemon XY, Mario Kart 7, Mario Maker, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Splatoon were still connected, breaking an unofficial but no less significant record set in 2010.

Halo 2 fans hung in for 25 days in 2010

That’s when two Halo 2 fans, Apache N4SIR and Agent Windex, members of the Noble 14 clan, held on for 25 days after Microsoft announced it was closing down access to Xbox Live on the original Xbox. (Halo 2 has since been re-released as part of 2014’s Halo: The Master Chief Collection, currently supported on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X via backward compatibility).

Microsoft tried to lure fans to log off with beta codes (for Halo: Reach) but these two stayed in, Apache N4SIR hanging on the longest, for 25 days, before Microsoft finally kicked everyone off the servers and pulled the plug.

One of the Wii U players, Lcd101, has been all alone in Splatoon for nearly a month, sitting in an empty lobby, unable to play any multiplayer game because there’s no one else to be matchmade with. Their sit-in reached almost absurd heights last week when Lcd101 reported the game’s final map rotation had been announced (by the game’s stars, the Squid Sisters Callie and Marie), and it was scheduled to last for the next 10 years.

Nintendo fans are a passionate bunch, and Splatoon was a fan favorite, even if the Wii U was a sales disappointment over the four years it was Nintendo’s lead piece of hardware. Remaining online past the servers’ closure isn’t so much protest as much as it is a unique statement of fandom and loyalty, much like it was for Apache N4SIR in 2010.

But at some point, Nintendo will have to draw the curtain. Let’s hope they thank these fans for their dedication when they do so.

Featured image via Nintendo.com

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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