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Homebrew exploit gets another game pulled from Nintendo eShop

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Ironfall: Invasion, the indie multiplayer shooter for the Nintendo 3DS, has been pulled from the Nintendo eShop following the revelation that it can be used to boot homebrew apps and games.

The exploit was shown by the coder and homebrew developer Jordan "Smealum" Rabet last week. He was going to launch the exploit, called Ironhax, this week, until Tuesday, when Nintendo removed the game from both the U.S. and European eShops.

The exploit was of particular concern to Nintendo because Ironfall: Invasion was free to download from the eShop. At the beginning of August, Rabet encouraged "everyone interested in 3DS homebrew" to get their free copy and spread the word on social media.

Rabet apologized to VD-Dev, the developer of Ironfall, for forcing the removal of the game, though in March, VD-Dev said on Twitter the game had been downloaded 300,000 times.

Presumably it will return once the exploit is patched out but meantime. For now, Rabet is directing homebrew enthusiasts to download the YouTube app on the eShop, and vowing that a big announcement is coming sometime soon.

Rabet was behind a similar exploit last November, Ninjahax, which took advantage of the puzzle game Cubic Ninja by AQ Interactive. It, too, was taken down from digital storefronts until Nintendo could patch the 3DS' firmware. All this led to GameStop raising the price on used physical copies of Cubic Ninja — which launched in 2011 — to $39.99 from $5.

Homebrew has always been treated as a four-letter word by Nintendo, particularly for the 3DS. Piracy was a constant problem for Nintendo during the run of the original DS. The R4 cartridges that enabled piracy were outlawed in a number of nations in response.