Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon Wii U servers forced offline indefinitely following security issue

Mario Kart 8
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Due to a security issue, Nintendo has taken the Wii U versions of Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon offline. 

As reported by VGC, the servers for both games were temporarily shut down yesterday, March 2, at 8.30PM PT / 11.30PM ET / 4.30AM GMT (March 3) while the company works on a fix for the problem.

"This network service is currently unavailable due to urgent maintenance required to fix a vulnerability related to online play," reads a post on Nintendo's official website. "We do not yet have information on when network services can be restored. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Nintendo didn't go into detail on exactly what the issue is, but according to a tweet by OatmealDome, it's "almost certainly ENLBufferPwn." As the well-known dataminer explains, this is a network vulnerability that enables an attacker to take over your console and execute code on it remotely if you connect with them in an online game.

In a follow-up tweet OatmealDome explains that other Nintendo games, including Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS and several Switch titles, have been affected by this exploit in the past. Yet while patches were released to better protect players of those games "Splatoon 1 and Mario Kart 8 did not receive any despite being known to be vulnerable".

If you're a fan of Nintendo's older console, it's worth keeping in mind that the Wii U eShop will be closing its doors for good on March 27. The 3DS eShop will also be permanently shut down on this date. Sadly for Pokemon fans, this means that 75% of the series' back catalogue will be unavailable commercially as a result.

Check out the finest Nintendo's last-gen console has to offer with our pick of the best Wii U games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.