Wii U Classics Mario Kart 8, Splatoon Taken Offline Due To Security Issue

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The Wii U might be remembered as one of Nintendo’s least successful consoles ever, but it had a number of great games that you can still play today. Well, maybe not literally today, as Nintendo recently announced that Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon were taken offline due to “a vulnerability related to online play.” No timeline was given for their return.

Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon were two of the most successful games for the Wii U, being the first- and sixth-best-selling games for the console respectively. Mario Kart 8 has sold 8.46 million copies as of late 2022, while Splatoon has sold 4.95 million copies. Super Mario Maker, another hit online game for the console, was shut down permanently in early 2021.

This shutdown is particularly notable because the Wii U remains the only way to play the original Splatoon, arguably one of Nintendo’s most innovative games of the past decade. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe remains online on Switch, so we recommend checking that out if you need your Mario Kart 8 fix immediately.

Publishers permanently shutting down the servers for successful online games has sadly become an accepted part of the gaming ecosystem, with fans having to pick up the slack for historically important games like the original Demon’s Souls. Some studios have struggled to restore online play to big games after such maintenance–for example, online play for the entire Dark Souls series was shut down for more than six months in 2022 due to the discovery of a nasty security bug.