The upcoming closure of the Wii U and 3DS eShop for new purchases and downloads has been notable news today, with plenty pointing out various download-only or DLC classics that will be lost when the stores close. You will be able to redownload content you already own for the foreseeable future, but you won't be able to add funds on either store from 23rd May 2022, while purchases will fully end at the close of March 2023.
One particularly notable loss, in a major Nintendo IP no less, will be Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation. Much like the more recent Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Fates had multiple campaigns to dive into - Birthright, Conquest and Revelation. The first two saw you take different sides at a key point in the story, and each had differences in difficulty and the sorts of missions you faced. The structure of how you bought the campaigns was interesting too, with a Pokemon-style approach of a dual pack or individual retail versions for Birthright and Conquest.
Revelation was a third campaign, and pretty important for fans that wanted to go all-in with the story; in this path you don't choose a side, and in terms of gameplay it offers another interesting mix of maps and challenges. We liked it a lot in our review.
For the vast majority though this is a DLC add-on; it didn't get individual retail versions like the other two campaigns, so unless you were lucky enough to get the relatively rare Special Edition that had all three on a cartridge, it had to be a download.
While Fire Emblem Fates also has a lot of other DLC add-ons that'll also disappear with the shutdown, it's the loss of Revelation that seems particularly painful. Nintendo's Japanese support website has confirmed that Revelation and the other DLCs in Fates will be no exception; they will disappear from sale.
There are lots of games that'll be lost, but this does seem to be one of the biggest to bite the dust. If you want to have it in your collection there's still time to fire up Fates and purchase it, but after March next year a major Fire Emblem campaign will be gone outside of a relatively small number of limited edition physical copies.
Let us know if you are a fan of Fire Emblem Fates and its campaigns; are you potentially going to jump in and buy the Revelation download while you still can?
[source nintendo.co.jp, via game.watch.impress.co.jp]
I want Nintendo to take preservation of media more seriously.
its amazing how little care or respect Nintendo shows its history.
I'm lucky enough to have the cart with everything. Most people are not and Revelations never got a standalone copy
boy howdy do i love digital gaming!
That’s a shame. I do hope they could port 3DS games to Switch though eventually.
Wii U isn’t too much of a problem because a majority of games are on Switch. But the huge problem is virtual console though and I don’t think that could be fixed unless Nintendo wants to put VC on switch (which I don’t think they will)
And this is just one of biggest offenders. Mario Golf has all of it's DLC as well, and Monster Hunter 4 is gonna end up losing all of it's neat DLC as well
Still don't see how this is any worse than a game going out of print, it's just the modern equivalent.
You still have to buy it at the time, pay too much for it on ebay or emulate it.
Fates? What about Awakening?
Although I advocate for preservation of media as well, preservation is often conflated with accessibility.
As long as some physical copies of a game are retained and kept in working order, or there are digital copies of a game that can be retrieved and replicated, the game is preserved.
But this doesn't necessarily mean the game is accessible to be played and enjoyed or examined.
Digital storefronts themselves are a service, and a service cannot run indefinitely, but the end of such a service means a majority of people lose access to games which naturally impedes preservation.
The other side of this is that legal venues to access a game disappear, as Nintendo Life's other recent article pointed out.
Thankfully I have the limited edition physical cart with all three campaigns on it.
Never thought this game compared to Awakening, though
Thank heck for the physical edition with all three routes... you know, the limited release?
Nintendo made this whole thing with Fates really convoluted.
In addition to this, there are a lot of rare physical games that will go almost entirely inaccessible for the average consumer thanks to this. Yo-Kai Watch 3 and Persona Q2 come to mind. This is so lame.
Edit: Holy cow, I just realized this is officially the end of DSiWare. Invest in Photo Dojo and Mario Clock while you can, folks.
@Captain_Toad I'm curious about the DLC for Fire Emblem Echoes (a game I feel like nobody but me talks about).
Limiting the physical access to Revelation was just absurd. I'm glad they learned their lesson and applied it to Three Houses, but the fact remains that before too long, the only way for many people to access this will be to pay an obscene amount for that Special Edition cartridge. Those were even scarce before and after the Fates games launched. It's a scalper's dream.
Long live physical.
Luckily I already bought the Birthright campaign for Conquest... Still must get the Revelations one, though.
So, May 23, huh. If we linked our Nintendo Switch Account with our 3DS, can we still add funds past that date through our Switch / Nintendo Account? Anyone knows?
Like I said, the problem is not digital media and digital distribution as a concept, the problem is Nintendo not caring.
Don't buy digital games from Nintendo until they make their digital purchases safe and future-proof, don't buy anything from Switch eShop until they make sure our games will be safe in the future.
And no, being able to re-download the games you bought is not the only issue, it's about not allowing new customers to enjoy games that they didn't buy in time.
Hm, you are right. This is an accessibility issue, and not so much a preservation issue. I think basically the entire eShop contents are preserved by third parties at this point, and that is only a good thing.
I don't actually fear the content being lost for good, but I do fear that Nintendo will do everything in their power to legally block access to these preserved games, which is another matter entirely.
@Savino However you are incorrect.
"Some of these games will never see the light of day again."
Sure, but with purely physical games you'd have the same problem. They'd be either extremely expensive or not available at all. Try finding every single GameBoy game physical today. It can be done, sure, but it's going to cost you a furtune.
"You will not be able to purchase it, to play it, nothing, it is dead."
As long as you already have purchased the games, they will continue to work. If you delete them off your system, you can redownload them.
A smart move for Nintendo would be to release the top 10 of 3DS games on the Switch (that haven't been rereleased yet) But they are in no way required to do that.
"That's where piracy becomes a grey area instead of dark one. "
No. "You don't sell something" doesn't give you the right to pirate it.
Time to port it.
@Captain_Toad Revelation is notable because for most it's mostly DLC only (the special edition with it on the cart is pretty darn rare). Awakening is a retail game so, theoretically, it's just about finding a copy.
Granted, I'm not aware of the current Awakening market, in terms of whether it's particularly expensive.
@sanderev You don't get the legal rights, but you get the moral right.
Copyright laws need to be reformed to stop lost media, where things can only be accessible by pirating, or not even that, this is happening for decades with TV shows and movies, and now it's becoming even worse with videogames.
You are not enforcing your copyright, allowing people to get copies of your game = You lose the copyright and sharing your game on the internet for free becomes legal, that's how the law should be, in most of these cases, the companies would be defunct already.
@victordamazio I disagree. Sure, game presevation should be an exemption on copyright. BUT this must be regulated, which would allow for a non-profit organisation to create something like a games archive or games museum.
But it shouldn't give right to everyone to just download something because it's not actively being sold.
@Kimyonaakuma With digital only games you're screwed regardless, which is the difference between games going out of print.
Behold ladies and gentlemen, the future of cloud gaming
@ThomasBW84 Amazon still sell new copies of Awakening for £40 usually; looking right now, it even has a slight discount at £37.
I only know this because I finally got a physical copy a few months ago after getting a digital copy for free as part of a promotion back in 2013 (Buy 3 of these 8 games, get a 4th for free as a download code). Nintendo doesn't do offers like those anymore...
Edit: Funnily enough, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is £20 right now on Amazon as well.
Revelation is terrible. It's only a good thing that less people will be able to play that storytelling and game design abomination.
Why do you keep mentioning March when you can add funds till August.
I'm glad I've got Revelation physical on the special edition.
Emulation would be the answer
@Screen I will probably never accept cloud gaming.
If something like this happens, no one was able to download the game files, meaning that putting the files on the internet is not a last resort, the game only exists on a server, and if the server closes, goodbye game, it will become lost media, like many of these movies and shows that all copies were destroyed.
@gamering Nope, games deserve preservation, even bad ones.
Even games like Superman 64, E.T. and Barbie games cannot be lost forever with all copies destroyed, future generations need to learn from their mistakes.
So Glad I got the special edition, I am feeling a little guilty that I never finished the 3rd campaign. Like other's said, I wonder what the equation is for Nintendo. I know it costs money to run and host these eshops and as time goes on the purchases decrease substantially and I suppose they are at a point where its costing more money then they get in sales. Maybe they could donate the games they are not intending to sell again to the abandonedware or something. Cold business sense tells me they will not since that would rob them of the opportunity to make money if they choose to re-release it in the future.
Good thing I've gotten all the DLC long beforehand. It sucks this will make Revelations more difficult to access given the route adds to the story.
@victordamazio It was a joke but I seriously don't think this is a big enough loss for its own article. Fates Revelation is widely hated by fans for cheapening the games premise, its ridiculous story, poor balancing and gimmicky map design.
I would argue it soured fan opinions on Fates as a whole given the other two routes are largely inoffensive, poor writing aside. Revelation actively made Fates a worse game.
Ah yes revelations, aka "there's an invisible army that is actually causing everything lead by a king whose name you cannot say or you die". Truly the pinnacle of tidying up loose ends and storytelling
@ThomasBW84 Awakening (and Echoes) also has a load of DLC, and unlike the Wii U or Switch eshops, you can’t buy the DLC directly in the eshop, only from within the game itself - and then only after clearing a certain part of the story.
Whilst not as drastic a loss as the whole Revelation campaign in Fates, it’s still noteworthy, and an annoyingly inconvenient one to access for anyone who had those games sitting in their backlog.
This comment section has more entries than there are people who are interested in buying this DLC and haven’t done already.
It's accessibility issues like this why emulation and piracy becomes prevalent.
People who cannot obtain new or used 3DS hardware will have to use emulation, and those that can will still need to resort to piracy to play games that'll no longer be legally accessible.
Sometimes accessibility issues are simply that physical copies of a game are too expensive, or cannot be found. It's an issue that's more recently plaguing Pokémon games across the Game Boy and DS family of systems, which remain relevant due to how Pokémon can be imported from previous generations with exclusive moves or abilities.
Who are these mythical people who like FE: Fates and somehow haven't already got round to getting the DLC? New customers? At this stage?
Honestly, this is a real reach. Just looking for stuff to be annoyed about.
Digital content is absolutely fine as long you know what you are buying (essentially a rental) and pay what you think that is worth. Yes, that should probably be less than physical content. Although not having to find and swap media is a plus to me.
If this wasn’t Nintendo there would be a s%#tstorm of epic proportions that would force them to backpedal to a certain degree.
Instead people act like “oh, Nintendo, you…”.
@gaga64 True. Funny to think back to how some of the 'early' DLC worked in Nintendo games.
I wouldn't worry too much, it's likely Nintendo may remastered these games sometime in the future with everything included.
The definitive move of 'cutting off your nose, to spite your face'.
I'm sorry can you not redownload the DLC once you've purchased it?
There even is an option for it on the title screen and you dont get redirected to the eShop, it just does it automatically?
@Nephestinus You can redownload all dlc (and games) you already purchased. At least for the forseeable future. (most likely until they completely shut off the 3DS/Wii U servers)
@HammerKirby I don't understand what you mean sorry?
A physical game goes out of print. Now the only way to get it is to emulate it or to buy it second hand.
A digital game, or DLC, stops being sold online. Now the only way to get it is to emulate it or buy a memory card with it on.
Seems the same to me?
WipEout Pure (or maybe Pulse) on the PSP had some free, timed exclusive DLC tracks. I bought my copy after they had been removed from the shop. They were all free so I just went online found the files, added them to my memory card and then I had them. Later my PSP got stolen so I did the same again on my replacement machine. It's actually far easier than trying to hunt down an affordable copy of say Paper Mario & the Thousand Year Door or Chibi Robo.
I mean it sucks, but I've had waaay longer to pick up these digital games than I ever did printed GC games, many of which went out of print during the console's lifetime. We definitely need an official way of buying old games and preserving them, but the difference between physical being out of print and digital stores closing...honestly it feels about the same on the whole.
Shin Megami Tensei 4 will also become totally unavailable for european systems, there never was a physical version over here.
I keep hoping the Fates games and Awakening get ported to Switch. It sucks that the 3DS and Wii U e-shops are closing, but at least most of Nintendo's first party content from Wii U is available on Switch.
Glad I have my Special Edition copy. But a HD port on Switch would be great.
I need to finish getting the dlc but I have the special edition of fates already. I may buy it a second time in Japanese though. Not sure.
Fates didn't do it for me personally. At least when I tried it back when it first launched. However I might just pick it up anyway. Just in case I ever decide to give it another whirl after I finally finish all Three Houses has to offer.
I think this would of been avoided had the Switch included a 3DS slot like it had in earlier designs.
@gaga64 I was wondering about that. Need to get the DLC for Echoes soon then. Assume you have to reach a certain point before you can get it too?
Jeez, I only bought this for my son last month. He came running up to me in shock this morning when he got the message on his 2ds about the eshop closing. This does seem like a really inappropriate thing to do in the digital age. Not so much with the Wii because only a tiny minority ever downloaded games, but Wii U/3DS were the serious beginning of downloading.
@RupeeClock I agree completely with you. Many other things in history are preserved and that means they're in a museum or similar type of place and/or have detailed records/photos available in repositories. It doesn't mean everyone has a duplicate of it in their home and can go out and get it any time they want. And I'm not just talking about ancient things, I'm talking about cars and radios, toys and clothing, etc.
I think the issue, in part, is many people who complain about game preservation don't really care about the historical significance and actual preservation aspect. They often just use it as a cover for why it's okay for them to download anything they want illegally and play it.
That's not everyone, mind you. But it's certainly not some small, miniscule amount either.
And people still make a case against "those evil pirates".
They keep games playable and available
To everyone mocking digital gaming... how is this any different to physical? Everyone that bought the digital version can still play it, just like everyone that bought the physical one. You just won't be able to buy it anymore, which is exactly the same for the physical edition.
In an ironic twist, it's probably those physical games that are in more danger of becoming unplayable. I'm quite confident future Xbox consoles are going to continue playing all my previous gen games, but are consoles even going to have a disc drive next generation? Seems highly unlikely. So actually all those physical 360 games I have become obsolete, but the digital stuff I can still download on an Xbox console 15 years from now and play.
At least I bought and downloaded them already.
@Peach64 You missed completely the point of Physical Games. Telling you anymore goes fast nowhere in the digital world.
Thank the pirates that all these DLCs are available and usable with cfw.
I was one of the lucky few to get the special edition of the games. I should get the dlc though, before it become unavailable.
Very glad and lucky to purchased the special edition back in time, but this really sucks. We have just only 3 months to download the dlc of our backlog 3ds games. We should not forget a title and also we shall search the eshop to download digital only games that have great use of stereoscopic 3d. Three months with a lot of press and anxious. Very angry again with Nintendo. It's too soon God Damned!!!
@Ogbert Physical games always have the option to buy secondhand. I always prefer to actually buy games as I feel more inclined to play than if I just download the game for free online.
@Kimyonaakuma You can still buy a physical game that goes out of print second-hand. Unless you buy a whole 3Ds with pre-installed games & DLC, you cannot get this game again period.
Personally, I'm okay with having just Conquest of the three Fates games (digitally). But that came only after playing more of the franchise for a few years and then learning what the real version differences are before purchasing. Revelations always had the "this is the true path" vibe. Did anyone here start with Revelations or even played it as their first Fire Emblem?
@Ogbert It's my understanding that DLC on most platforms is tied to a specific user account via encypted digital signatures, same as digital games themselves. The PSP may have been an exception, since it was such an early foray into the technology, but no users on any extant digital platform are able to download DLC they've purchased onto a memory card and just hawk it on eBay or something.
The memory card market you suggest as a digital analog to physical used game sales just doesn't exist, unless you're talking about buying pirated products, which a) are their own thing, and b) are a total ripoff and support of bad actors to pay money for instead of just setting up yourself.
I actually just recieved fire emblem fates: conquest and shadows from the wife for vday.
I had a feeling this was coming. Over the summer, I finally bought revelations to complete the set. Now I’ve got all 3 on one cart.
I’ll have to go through the other DLC and decide if any are worth getting. Might end up getting a few just because it’ll be my last chance haha
When the Switch eShop goes down, I will make sure my Switch has custom firmware and can play all backups. Same policy for all consoles.
I think my only issue here is my 3DS backlog. I still have 3DS games in the wrapper and need to figure out what has DLC and what doesn't. Plus games I was thinking to get and haven't yet, ugh
Fates is an... interesting game. Birthright is hardly worth playing unless you're new to the series, Conquest has fantastic map design, and Rev has weird spikes in difficulty combined with really annoying maps. The story is garbo across the board, so it's best to just mash past the cutscenes and get straight to the gameplay. All of this being said... As a whole, I enjoyed my time with it. I did all routes, the gameplay loop is addictive as it always is, Conquest is fun to replay. Far from my favourite Fire Emblem, but there's a good game in there. Dare I say, it's better than Three Houses in a number of ways.
Another thing that crossed my mind, is will you be unable to download the Xenoblade X packs that improve loading? They weren't patches, they're separate items you have to claim on the eShop. If I buy Xenoblade X after March next year, am I stuck with an inferior version?
I'm more concerned with losing all the dlc songs for Theatrhythm Curtain Call since Square doesn't seem interested in doing another one and there's so many classic tracks from their various series there. But yeah, we all have our grievances with the end of a digital shop. It's another reminder that all our favorite games are faceless products in the eyes of the people calling the shots, and completely disposable once they no longer produce significant sales.
@RainbowGazelle you can download the data packs from the eShop now, for what it's worth. You don't need a copy of the game.
Damn I completely forgot about the whole FE: Fates fiasco. I don't want to lose these games to time forever...particularly Revelations....hmm....
Edit: I got both Birthright and Conquest. I always go for the physical options.
@SmileMan64 Yep. Even after that date, as long as you linked your NNID funds to your Nintendo Account, you will still be able to add funds through that method.
On the other hand, Nintendo would be paying to leave a service running that very few people are using.
But as we move to a digital future, more of this will start happening.
@Kimyonaakuma Would have bought Revelations if there would have been a common physical version to purchase. But it was severely limited being confined to a small print run for the special editions and then, you know, the fun digital store front that eventually closes — where all the digital copies don’t continue to circulate through the used market but, just, disappear. That’s fun.
There’s a difference.
Took about 90 dollars but I finally have all the DLC for FE games on 3ds.
@ThomasBW84 also: the weirdly limited DSiWare memory space on the 3DS. No matter what size memory card you put in, DSiWare games are saved to the console itself (I think) with a fixed amount of space.
Personally I filled that up years ago after only 5 or 6 titles…
@Shiro28 Exactly the same issue here. I have a ton of still sealed 3ds games. For example the professor Layton games I think that have dlc so we need to hurry up and unwrap those games. We should find somewhere a list with all the games that have dlc as it is possible to forget some games of our backlog.
The updates are easy to figure out. If you write the word update on the eshop search you will see all the games with an update and the most important you can download them even if haven't got the games on your console.
@Fath yeah you might have to jump through some extra hoops to ensure the things work on your account that's true. But finding old physical games is not without it's own pitfalls.
It just seems like a physical games goes out of print after say 3 years and everyone is fine with that. A digital copy stays up for a couple of decades before the cost of running the store exceeds the benefit of the profits made and everyone flips when it's shut down. Both are still aquirable if you're determined enough though.
@Ogbert A couple of decades? If only. 3DS games were still being actively released as recently as May of last year; that doesn't even give them a couple years lifespan on the eShop before they're going to be gone for good, with no secondary used market to fall back on.
@MrPerson0 Awesome. Thank you.
I luckily have the special edition copy but this is too bad that the 3rd path is going away for availability.
Nintendo leaves you no choice but to ride the seas.
Seriously, one of the worst companies ever in terms of stuff like this.
Two of the best games on the system. Shame.
Thankfully I own the special edition that has it all on cartridge.
@LEGEND_MARIOID There are still copies of Fates and Echoes in stores. Revelation is the only one that is gone unless you own the special edition.
Question... (and this may just be ignorance on my part) but if you've bought all the games with the DLC, can't you still play it from your memory card?🤔
@Savino First of all, anyone who has already purchased the games can still access and play them all they want. They just need to keep their data backed up in case of a lost/stolen/broken system.
Second, just because you can no longer buy something doesn't give you the right to illegally obtain it for free. Just accept that you have to do without it.
@JudgeMethos Yes, of course you can. You just will no longer be able to access the minor features that require Internet connectivity.
@victordamazio Technically, those kinds of laws already exist. The issue is that it takes nearly a century for things to fall into the public domain, which is fine for books, songs, TV shows, and movies that are usually easily reprinted or otherwise made available again with decent demand, but there are major compatibility issues with many non-current computer and video games to where only the most popular ones can afford to be ported, remastered, or remade.
I would fully support an "abandonware" modification to copyright law for electronic games (while used game stores could still get by with retro collectors along with more recent games, CDs, DVDs/Blu-Rays, comics, etc.) that allow them to fall into the public domain after only a couple of decades or so without being sold, but I don't think the average Congressman/Senator cares enough about the issue to support such a change. We may have to wait until the large majority of Congress consists of people young enough to have grown up with computer/video games.
@Ogbert Well, the one major difference is that you can't buy used copies of digital games. Even if you were to buy a memory card with the game on it, the system won't let you play it if you haven't bought the game on your Nintendo account.
And Nintendo wonders why people use emulators or hack their consoles.
@Guile Good Tip. Once I download those games a copy of each will go straight to my PC. I already suffered a format on my 3Ds somehow so I lost progress in many of them
this is very imaginary but what I wish Nintendo would do now is release a NEW New 3DS model, could cost around 150, make a few improvements, make it skinnier, more portable, better buttons/circle pads, etc. make it a limited edition with some cool designs, take advantage of the new interest in it to keep the 3DS eShop open for a while longer, offer high discounts on digital games and maybe some buy 2 get 3 promotions or something. I already have a couple 3DS and I know I'd buy a new model if there was one. I'd buy many more games if they had their prices lowered significantly. I still love that console and I didn't buy half the games I have on my list, and if the store disappears I'm gonna have to pirate them
@SmileMan64 Yes, Merged accounts will work all the up to March 2023, when the shop closes completely. Nintendo themselves confirmed this to me while I was on a Customer Support call dealing with another problem.
@skolvuk I see. Thanks for sharing.
@CharlieGirl I always feel like I'm the only one who loved that game way more than the other 3DS ones! So glad to see someone at least mentioned it. I just recently bought all of its DLC with hopes to remember to play through it again.
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