The Wii U received an update this week that’s riling up big fans of its unique social network, Miiverse. Dataminers found text within system version 5.5.2 to suggest that the end of the service is approaching, and while that’s just hearsay right now, some are already ringing the death knell.
“The Miiverse service has ended,” the new text reads, according to a tweet from dataminer ShinyQuagsire. “Miiverse and any software features that make use of Miiverse are now unavailable.”
It’s important to note here that this message is not live on Wii U yet; the Miiverse is still active. But that the update adds this text into the firmware is enough to make Wii U owners antsy. Miiverse became a beloved platform for elaborate works of art, hilarious commentary (and non-sequiturs), and game tricks and tips. The community forum-styled service even played a part in several Wii U games, like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Splatoon.
We reached out to Nintendo about the datamined update, and a representative told us that the company has “nothing to announce on this topic.”
But the eventual death of Miiverse wouldn’t be surprising. Nintendo has cut the cord on several online services for Wii, a system that’s now two generations behind. The Miiverse also has zero presence on Nintendo Switch, the Wii U’s replacement that launched in March.
The Switch lacks most online features right now, however, and we’re not certain Miiverse will return. (Splatoon 2 just came up with its own version to get around this.) Still, with a new console to support — and the Wii U firmly left behind — Nintendo doesn’t have to keep its online services up and running on Wii U forever.
But to the people who still use Miiverse to this day, that’s a future they want no part of. Twitter is full of eulogies already, as expected:
Rest In Peace, Miiverse (2012-2017) pic.twitter.com/KhqtaWv5pB— SPLATOON 2 HYPE (@SplatoonSwitch) July 18, 2017
rip miiverse— Conner (@hyrulefieIds) July 18, 2017
this post will forever be memorized pic.twitter.com/HuV1DhBfji
Miiverse itself is full of anxious power users looking for answers on how much time they have left.
The likelihood is that Nintendo will keep Miiverse kicking for some time longer, so not to worry. Adding in this text into the Wii U’s firmware is not an automatic sign that the social network is on its death bed. But as is common with Nintendo lovers, the tiniest signs can be the biggest causes for concern.