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Splatoon & Mario Kart 8 Wii U Online Services Return Tomorrow After 5 Months of Maintenance

Splatoon & Mario Kart 8 Wii U Online Services Return Tomorrow After 5 Months of Maintenance

Online services for Mario Kart 8 and the original Splatoon will return for Wii U players on August 3 after months of downtime. Nintendo announced that players can once again access multiplayer in a social media post, saying that its maintenance for both titles has finally come to an end. Both games, which rely heavily on their multiplayer components, have been without online support for five months.

Nintendo initiated urgent maintenance for the two Wii U hits in March, citing security concerns. At the time, Nintendo dataminer OatmealDome said the maintenance was almost certainly occurring in response to an issue known as “ENLBufferPwn” (via VGC). They say the exploit is notorious across Nintendo multiplayer titles like Mario Kart 7 and allows attackers to gain access to another user’s console simply by connecting to them online.

“In March 2023, Nintendo paused network services for the Wii U games Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 to address a vulnerability related to online play,” Nintendo said in a recent update on its support page. “The issue has now been fixed, and so we will resume online play for these games based on the schedule below. Please accept our sincere apologies for the extended waiting period.”

To continue playing Splatoon and Mario Kart 8 multiplayer on Wii U, players only need to download a new update. The exact time of the update’s release has not been revealed. However, Nintendo does warn that, should online issues persist, it will need to take services offline again. If that is the case, offline play will still be available for those who own the games.

Mario Kart 8 launched for Wii U in 2014 but went on to receive a beefed-up Nintendo Switch version in 2017. Splatoon, however, has gone on to receive two Switch sequels, but the original experience is only available on Wii U. So, while the five-month wait kept players from enjoying some of their favorite games, Wii U owners should feel a bit safer when revisiting these titles.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team in 2019 but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, The Binding of Isaac, or Doom Eternal. You can follow his news coverage and reviews at The Escapist, but his work has appeared on other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch, too. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest pop-culture news, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing.