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Nintendo To Discontinue Miiverse

Brawl in the FamilyWe all knew this day was coming once the Nintendo Switch launched like a rocket and left the Wii U behind, but Nintendo has announced that it is discontinuing the Miiverse social network linked up with the Wii U and 3DS.  The company has prepared a list of questions and answers to address the pending shutdown which takes effect November 7, 2017.  The short version of this is that any game that uses Miiverse will error out when attempting to access the service, and while you may think that only impacts posting messages, it also means that games that use the service for content purposes such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. will lose secondary features.  I advise you to read the entire announcement, but here's the part about specific games:

Many games use Miiverse as a major game-play feature, including Super Mario Maker for Wii U. What happens to those games when Miiverse shuts down?
- Super Mario Maker (Wii U): Users will still be able to share levels, but will no longer be able to comment on them.
- Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS): While users will still be able to play Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars and complete all 88 levels in the main game, the Community feature will be discontinued, preventing players from sharing levels and receiving additional Stars. As there will be a limit to the number of Stars that can be obtained, not all objects may be unlocked from the Workshop.
- Splatoon (Wii U): Miiverse posts will no longer display in Inkopolis Plaza or the game's stage maps.
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS): The Miiverse stage will still be playable, but Miiverse user posts will not display in the background. Players will also be unable to post replays to YouTube/Miiverse, share stages or create tournaments.
- Mario Kart 8 (Wii U): Players will not be able to upload game-play videos to YouTube since they also post to Miiverse at the same time. The tournament function will also not be available.
- Super Mario 3D World (Wii U): In Super Mario 3D World, the Miiverse posts that appear on the course select screen and when selecting courses will disappear. Players will still be able to collect in-game stamps, but not post them to Miiverse.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X (Wii U): In Xenoblade Chronicles X, the BLADE report feature will no longer be available.

Miiverse buttons will still appear on the Wii U and 3DS.  Games will still tout Miiverse services ("Would you like to post this accomplishment to Miiverse?") and will still attempt to connect to the shuttered service after November 7, but the consoles will return error codes and give up.  While I'm not surprised that Nintendo is ending Miiverse (it never really caught on like the company expected), I'm disappointed that the developers didn't anticipate that the service would one day end and prepare games to fail gracefully.  It's a shame that those soon-to-be-useless Miiverse buttons cannot be removed.  I'd also rather that games did not continue to bug me to post to a dead service.  As for disabling features like Mario Kart 8 tournaments or Tipping Stars unlocks(!), I suppose Nintendo feels it has sold all the copies of those games it is going to sell and has no problems moving on.  I will miss Miiverse primarily because I don't know of any other way to capture screenshots directly from Wii U or 3DS hardware without it.

Game publishers have had issues with this kind of thing for the past few years as services are gradually disabled, leaving dead prompts and useless options on menus.  Remember when Uncharted 3 could post to Facebook?  Going forward, developers and publishers really need to think ahead to a time when their latest and greatest is ready to sunset so that tomorrow's retro gamers are not saddled with broken prompts.

(image via Brawl In The Family)