It's time to dust off your 3DS and your copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, because people have been reporting that their cartridges are no longer working, almost seven years after the release of the game.
One player notes that their copy hasn't worked "since Spring 2020"; another (in Italy) says that their copy of Alpha Sapphire hasn't worked since at least 2019, and says it's a "widespread issue"; other people have managed to get their games to work fine despite being in European countries.
This wouldn't be the first time that games have ceased to work after a certain amount of time. The original GBA Ruby and Sapphire games had a "berry glitch" that stopped berry trees from growing after 366 days from when the game was first played.
This glitch was in the pre-internet-on-consoles era, so patching the game was very difficult, and involved either owning a different Pokémon game that would add a patch to Ruby and Sapphire, or going in to specific game stores to download it from their special GBA. You could even send in the cartridge to Nintendo, up until August 2012.
Needless to say, it'll be easier to patch Pokémon ORAS, as long as the issue is a simple one.
[UPDATE - 6th May: With regards to the ORAS issue, we had a reader reach out to us, @Voultar, who may have identified the cause of the cartridge problem, and it may explain why it has seemingly affected a particular batch in meaningful numbers. It is anecdotal of course, but you can view the video below, in which re-soldering the chip seems to get the game working again. It's an interesting potential fix, even if it's not possible at this point to confirm it as a 100% solution.]
Is your copy of Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire still working? Let us know in the comments.