Just before Nintendo shut down the 3DS and Wii U servers, fans rallied together and gathered 23,000 data dumps to preserve DLC that was nearly lost forever

In a big win for video game preservation, a project meant to archive Wii U and 3DS data - including DLC - before Nintendo's server shutdown resulted in a "massive success."

On Monday, Nintendo shut down the Wii U and 3DS servers for good, which sucks. But what makes it suck less is that the SpotPass Archival Project has saved a ton of data and content from being lost forever. Over the last several days, various members of the the 3DS and Wii U Homebrew modding community rallied the troops across various online forums in a desperate, last-minute attempt to preserve system data sent to 3DS and Wii U consoles straight from Nintendo via the company's now-defunct Spot Pass program.

Essentially, Spot Pass was just a very Nintendo-esque term for an always-online system that delivered notifications and game updates to 3DS and Wii U consoles without requiring anything from the user. In many cases, the updates took the form of free DLC that could've easily been installed without the user ever noticing, which made it imperative for the preservationists at SpotPass Archival Project to convince as many 3DS and Wii U owners to dump their data into the archive. And miraculously, the effort resulted in 15,579 3DS dumps and 7,553 Wii U dumps, undoubtedly saving a ton of game content from being permanently deleted.

The good folks at SpotPass Archival Project say there are plans in the works to publish a completed archive of all of the Nintendo data they managed to collect before the shutdown. The when and where "will be available regarding that when we have more information to share."

"Thanks to our [sic] help, various network revival services will continue to distribute SpotPass content for many titles, ensuring that features in these titles can be used long after Nintendo has pulled the plug," reads an update on the project's official website.

Furthermore, the archivists say they're working on ways "to archive old SpotPass data for a few specific games such as the StreetPass Mii Plaza" and promise more information on that front "soon."

With an enemy as unbeatable as time, video game preservation - or any type of preservation - will always be an uphill battle, but it's wins like this one, which not only act as records of history but also produce tangible rewards in the form of playable content, that make it all worth it.

In other news, the impossible Super Mario Maker level has was cleared just days before Nintendo killed the 3DS and Wii U servers.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.