Looks like something pretty weird is happening behind-the-scenes at Nintendo. About a week ago, Nintendo quietly removed over half of the DSiWare library from the North American eShop. Now, most of those titles have returned. Whether this was an unintentional mishap by Nintendo or whether they are planning something larger remains to be seen.
On January 2, hundreds of the DSiWare titles on the 3DS eShop had suddenly gone missing. Almost every game released before May 2011, around 250 titles, was removed. This meant that users no longer had access to popular games like Shantae: Risky’s Revenge and Aura-Aura Climber. When Nintendo didn’t comment on the purge, many fans felt they were planning to close the shop down like they did with the Wii Shop Channel in 2019. Nintendo gave fans a heads-up before taking the Wii Shop down, so that seems unlikely.
The removal of those titles took everyone by surprise, including the developers of some of the games. The co-creator of the Shantae series, Matt Bozon, took to Twitter to comment on what the disappearance meant for Shantae shortly after it happened.
However, it looks like there is no need to worry as most of those titles have suddenly returned. On January 8, just a few days after they were removed, people began to notice that many of the titles were back in the shop. Now, it looks all but five of the games are back for purchase in the eShop. Those still missing include:
- 5 in 1 Solitaire
- Digger Dan & Kaboom
- Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera
- Match Up!
- Word Searcher 3
With no explanation by Nintendo, and the European and Japanese stores remaining unaffected, it is likely this was an accident of some sort. Though it didn’t stop many from worrying about the possibility of losing those games that are digital-only. With very few of the games having been released as a physical copy or onto other platforms, if Nintendo deletes the DSiWare library again, many titles may be lost forever.
For now, the 3DS eShop is still running and filled with most of its DSiWare library. While we don’t know why the games were removed, at least we still have the chance to play them…for now.
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