5-Month Mario Kart, Splatoon Server Outage On Wii U Ends

Mario kicks his feet in the air while riding a motorcycle.

Image: Nintendo

The Wii U isn’t dead, it’s just resting. Nintendo finally brought the console’s servers for Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 back online after a mysterious five month outage. “Please accept our sincere apologies for the extended waiting period,” the company wrote in an update, though it’s not making any promises that the games won’t shut down again if the problems come back.

For months, Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 players on Wii U were completely cut off from one another after Nintendo brought the games’ multiplayer servers offline to address an unspecified “vulnerability.” While the company never elaborated on what the issues were, some players speculated it was related to malicious hacks that could take control of people’s systems.

“The security vulnerability is almost certainly ENLBufferPwn, which could allow an attacker to take over your console just by connecting to them online,” Nintendo dataminer OatmealDome tweeted back in March of this year. “This exploit affected many of Nintendo’s games on the Switch, along with Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS.”

Whatever the issue was, it didn’t end up being a quick fix. The outage went from lasting days, to weeks, to months. Now, service will finally resume again on August 3, over 150 days later. “If further issues occur which make it difficult to continue supporting online play, we may have to discontinue the online play service for the Wii U games Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 at short notice,” Nintendo wrote. “Should this occur, please note that offline play would continue to function normally.”

While some fans continue to play on Wii U simply because they still haven’t upgraded to the Switch, a few actually prefer the original version of Mario Kart 8. The Deluxe port, for example, doesn’t allow you to turn off the new DLC tracks. It also doesn’t offer online play at 100cc at higher tiers, and includes a second item box. According to HolidaySecurity3158 on the Wii U subreddit, that all adds up to a game that’s too chaotic for them.

Fortunately for them, the old version is still available to play online, at least for now. Wii U hackers may have other plans.


Nintendo Ending Support For Mario Kart Tour

Various Mario characters (Donkey Kong, Mario, Princess Peach, Shy Guy, and Yoshi) speed through a Mario Kart Tour track.

Image: Nintendo

After four years of updates, Nintendo has announced that its mobile racing game Mario Kart Tour will no longer receive new content after October 4.

Read More: Nintendo Facing Lawsuit Over ‘Immoral’ Loot Boxes In Mario Kart Tour

The in-game message was shared to X (formerly Twitter) by longtime dataminer OatmealDome. After thanking the community for playing and announcing the next set of tours (a series of races that last two weeks), Nintendo confirmed that content from October 4 onward will simply be recycled in perpetuity.

“From 10/04/2023 (Wed) on, tours will consist of content from tours that have appeared before,” the company wrote. “Note: No new courses, drivers, karts, or gliders will be added following the Battle Tour starting 10/04/20223 (Wed).”

While the game won’t receive any new updates going forward, Eurogamer reports that Mario Kart Tour will remain playable for the foreseeable future.

Kotaku reached out to Nintendo for comment.

Mario Kart Tour launched in September 2019 and quickly became one of Nintendo’s most lucrative mobile games. As of September 2022, the smartphone spin-off has raked in some $293 million globally, but not without its fair share of controversy. “Spotlight Pipes,” a gacha mechanic that basically functioned like loot boxes with undisclosed odds, drew particular ire from the game’s community. Nintendo removed these pipes in September 2022, but the company is still facing a class-action lawsuit as of May 2023 from a parent who claimed his child shelled out some $170 on Spotlight Pipes via a credit card.

Read More: Mario Kart Tour Says So Long To Its Controversial Gacha Gambling

Nintendo has a handful of other mobile games it’s still working on, including Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run. The company, which also saw huge success this year with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, is looking to expand its business, dipping its toes into event organizing and other areas, according to The Washington Post.


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