As eShop closure breaks Pokemon Bank companion app, Gen 5 Pokemon could be trapped forever

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon Bank users are reporting the app isn't working following the 3DS's eShop closure.

March 27 sadly saw the 3DS's eShop close its virtual doors for good, just like Nintendo announced it would last year. The Pokemon Company always maintained that the Pokemon Bank app would work following the closure of the eShop, but now users are reporting that the app no longer works correctly.

The issue seems to stem from Pokemon Transporter, a companion app released alongside Pokemon Bank that allowed for the transfer of Pokemon from Gen 5 (Black, White, Black 2, White 2) to Gen 6 (X & Y). While Pokemon Bank is staying online, it looks as though if you didn't already have Transporter installed, there's no way of making the new download now that the eShop is gone, so your Pokemon are trapped in Gen 5.

There do seem to be some teething troubles around Pokemon Bank, most notably a mysterious 'Free Trial period' notification that grants players access for a number of days accompanied by a question mark. Nintendo has suggested that message can safely be ignored, but it's not addressed the issues with Transporter.

Pokemon Bank is a feature that basically allows you to transfer creatures between multiple platforms and devices. So you could send a Charizard through to Pokemon Sword and Shield, or an Eevee forward through Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, and many other games.

This particular failure of the Bank system threatens a significant portion of the mainline Pokemon series, potentially consigning much of an entire generation to the void. Some commenters have suggested that given the short amount of time since the eShop's closure, Nintendo could still be working on a fix, but others have claimed it's unlikely that the company will be working on solutions to a now-defunct piece of software, especially given that 75% of all Pokemon games have been made unavailable with the eShop's closure.

You can see why this is a little worrying for hardcore Pokemon players. Last year in February, Pokemon Bank went free-to-use after previously costing an annual subscription fee of $4.99. With the app opening up for anyone to use, you've got to imagine there's more Pokemon Bank users than ever now panicking that their creatures might be lost to the void.

Check out our upcoming Switch games guide to see what the future holds for the Pokemon franchise. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.