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Nintendo mysteriously pulls Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon offline, but Switch unaffected

If you’re still rocking the Wii U and were hoping to enjoy some Mario Kart 8 or Splatoon action online this weekend, Nintendo has some rough news to digest.

The gaming giant has removed the online elements of both games for what it is calling “urgent maintenance” for what is thought to be a security vulnerability.

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At the time of writing, it’s not clear when they will be available once again. The nature of the issue is not known at the present time, but with Mar10 Day just a week away, Nintendo will hope to get Mario Kart 8 back online with a quickness, regardless of how many or few gamers are still enjoying the classic racer on the Wii U.

In a statement on its server operational status page, Nintendo says that Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 are “currently unavailable due to urgent maintenance required to fix a vulnerability related to online play. We do not yet have information on when network services can be restored. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The Nintendo dataminer OatmealDome (via VGC) believes the outage is down to the ENLBufferPwn vulnerability “which could allow an attacker to take over your console just by connecting to them online.”

On Twitter, OatmealDome added: “This exploit affected many of Nintendo’s games on the Switch, along with Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS. Patches to fix the bug were released last year for affected Switch games and Mario Kart 7, but Splatoon 1 and Mario Kart 8 did not receive any despite being known to be vulnerable. It appears Nintendo have now taken the servers down to prevent people from being exploited.”

This conclusion is unconfirmed by Nintendo, but it does seem like a likely scenario.

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