1/ I've seen this question on Twitter a lot today:
"Why is #Nintendo shutting down the #3DS and #WiiU eShops? Why can't they support it longer?"

While I can't answer for Nintendo, I've spent over 20 years in IT and I can add some insight to the conversation: 🧵
2/ The reality is, if most corporations could build "good will" and keep servers & infrastructure buzzing for a small fraction of the balance sheet they would do so. Unfortunately, that is likely not the case with this or other similar entities. #Nintendo
3/ Nintendo chooses (right or wrong) to set up their eShops & systems per project. Meaning: The 3DS and WiiU eShops are VERY likely their own entities, with their own cost structures and systems to maintain. The #3DS and #WiiU released in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
4/ While a decade doesn't feel like a long time, servers, operating systems, regulations, policies, and laws are continually being updated. The constant march of technology and global regulations actually causes some IT infrastructure to get MORE expensive to maintain over time.
5/ I once worked for a company that spent multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to maintain a SINGLE legacy server for a business process. The business should have axed the server & processing many years ago, but they never did, and thus they kept paying for it.
6/ That was one server! Now look at #Nintendo. The 3DS eShop (for example) likely has payment infrastructure, security, servers, operating systems, redundant channels, etc, all of which are likely on "systems" from the time the eShop was created (circa 2010).
7/ As these systems age, they require patches, security, special contracts, updates, and personnel that know how they were built (and maintained). As time goes on, there are security holes, servers, code, infrastructure, etc, that can't be brought up to modern standards.
8/ It becomes a constant struggle between maintaining legacy systems, paying people to do so, and trying to keep up with global regulations. It's not cheap by any means. They can't just "leave the lights on" and stop supporting them. What if someone hacked the payment processor?
9/ The only effective way to stop maintaining a system, and paying the likely hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, in support costs is to decommission the entire system. Its the only effective way to guarantee closure of any system problems and expenses.
10/ Could #Nintendo have chosen a more elegant solution than building an eShop per device?
Could Nintendo take your licenses from the #3DS (for example) and transfer them to a modern storefront.
All of that ALSO costs time & money. They choose not to spend it.
11/ Point being, it's not as simple as "just let the servers run until they die". If #Nintendo leaves system running, not only do they get more *expensive* to maintain each year, they leave themselves wide open for regulatory risk, and environmental risk (hackers).
12/ Late add. #Nintendo did mention that you can still DL content you already own for the "foreseeable future", but as discussed the payment services are being axed. Removing that infrastructure removes the most vulnerable piece in the chain. It gives them room to plan.
13/ They are definitely planning a full shutdown. We know this from the history of the #games industry, but the notes in this thread still apply to *that* infrastructure. Like others have said, maybe Nintendo moves to a unified store, but it's unclear if/when that happens.
14/ Late add #2 - Even in the event that #Nintendo is paying a *3rd party contract* to handle their payment processing for the 3DS & WiiU eShops, it's still the same problem - but they're just paying someone else to handle the details.

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