Does Nintendo have a duty to preserve the eShop games of the 3DS and Wii U?

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It is news today that Nintendo has plans to close the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U eShop stores in about a year, or in March 2023. This means that the enthusiastic owners of the two consoles will no longer be able to make purchases via the digital platform, but it is confirmed that everything that has already been purchased can still be downloaded on the consoles. It is also confirmed that it will be possible to download updates and play online.

We also specify that the thing is not a bolt from the blue, as we already knew that the two digital stores would close their doors in 42 countries, so it was only a matter of time before Nintendo announced it also for the United States of America. and Europe.

By not losing access to one’s own content, of first impact and thinking from the user’s side, this is a minimal damage and the reasons for Nintendo they are obvious and for many also shareable. After all, we are talking about two platforms that are not particularly used by players and no new games have been released for a long time. Keeping the sales side active has its own costs and for Nintendo – which always remains a for-profit company – it makes little sense to continue supporting those eShops, given that its business is on Switch.

Miyamoto in front of a Wii U booth

However, there is a more problematic side of the question: the game preservation exclusively digital. The titles also sold in physical format, in one way or another, will remain available: some will be rare and more expensive, while others will be cheaper, but somehow it will be possible in the years to come to find a way to play them.

However, digital-only 3DS and Wii U games that have not received a port will be lost forever. Of course, the situation is not exclusive to Nintendo and applies to any store.

The question we want to ask you today, however, is whether, from your point of view, it is up to Nintendo or the developers of the individual games to worry about preserving the old games.

On one side, Nintendo (but also Sony, Microsoft, Valve, Epic Games …) has the decision-making power to completely block the sale of these video games and is therefore “guilty” of every decision taken, but at the same time it does not directly own the rights and is “unfair” to force her to worry about other people’s products.

The developers and / or related publishersinstead, they legally have control over the games and in a sense also have an “artistic” duty (maybe? or maybe not?) to make their works accessible to future audiences. However, we know that in practice, especially after years, the rights to the games and the individual components that compose them (think for example licensed music) are divided among several companies, which are closed, reopened, broken down, sold in pieces and everything becomes a bureaucratic and economic nightmare, impossible to manage especially for smaller teams.

In a nutshell, the matter is complicated but we ask you, to the skin, to tell us who should have the duty to preserve the old games. Provided that, from your point of view, it is an important issue. Maybe losing certain video games forever isn’t a problem. let’s talk about.

Parliamone is a daily opinion column that offers a starting point for discussion around the news of the day, a small editorial written by a member of the editorial team but which is not necessarily representative of the editorial line.

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