Nintendo is cutting off functionality for one of the 3DS’ free apps just days before the closure of the system’s eShop. The announcement of the closure of the 3DS and Wii U eShops was made early last year, and fans have been acting quickly to get as many of the system’s digital games as possible before the eShops close on March 27, 2023.
The 3DS eShop launched in 2011 as the handheld’s online distribution service and was home to many downloadable games and applications, including digital versions of first-party titles, smaller budget games, and a handful of free games and apps. One of the most popular free 3DS apps was Nintendo Badge Arcade, a digital claw machine game that allowed players to grab decorative badges to display on their 3DS home screen.
The app normally gave users two free plays a day with the option to buy more with real money. However, 3DS owners opened the app today to find that these free plays seem to have been discontinued. Fans expressed their disappointment, and other 3DS owners reflected these feelings in the replies to both posts as many hoped the app would become fully free similar to Pokemon Bank, which will be available for free starting March 28.
Players are still able to buy more plays on Nintendo Badge Arcade but have lost access to the app’s exclusive themes and “Thank-you” badges, both of which were only accessible through paying real money. Some publishers, such as Capcom, have hosted final sales on the 3DS eShop, offering discounts of up to 90% on its 3DS games. Fans had hoped that Nintendo would begin offering something similar.
Today’s news shows that Nintendo has already begun to cut functionality for Nintendo Badge Arcade, indicating that other services and games are unlikely to go free anytime soon. With the 3DS and Wii U eShops only a few days away from being closed, fans of these systems have been hoping in vain that these systems may get more continued support.
Nintendo has not backed off and has carried on with the discontinuation of 3DS and Wii U features such as image sharing and the ability to add funds through credit cards. While this closure is disheartening for many, both of these systems had huge fanbases and will be fondly remembered by millions.
Words by Kat Howard