There have been rumors floating around that the Nintendo 3DS eShop is about to lose one of the most iconic games in Game Boy history, the original 1989 portable version of Tetris. On December 27, a representative from Nintendo’s UK branch confirmed it in a tweet: “The Game Boy version of Tetris on Nintendo #3DS will be removed from sale on Nintendo #eShop from 31/12/2014.”
However….this only confirms the game will be disappearing in the UK. Every single report on the subject that can be gathered only mentions Europe, and releases and rights can be different in separate territories. Europe just got Donkey Kong Land in the eShop and the US is still waiting on it.
The rights to Tetris currently rest with Ubisoft, and Nintendo (at least Nintendo of Europe) must have chosen not to re-license with them, letting 1989 Tetris expire at the end of 2014. But there’s no word if this will be a global loss or not.
Currently, there are three Tetris games available for purchase on the 3DS eShop: the 1989 Tetris, which is credited to Nintendo, Tetris Ultimate, which is listed as from Ubisoft, and Tetris Axis, which comes to you from “Tetris Online.” Notable is the lack of Tetris DX, which had better play control than the original (and that makes a big difference when the game gets fast). Now we may never get it.
Getting answers out of the American branch won’t happen — they traditionally do not announce when a major game is about to be dropped. And with one day to go in the deadline, there’s no time to ask. The only way left to find out may be to wait.
If you don’t have the original Tetris in your 3DS and you would like it sometime in the future, it’d be best to drop $4 within the next couple of hours just to be safe…. just like you should pre-order your Shulk Amiibo before all seven of them go out of stock. What else can you do? Being a Nintendo fan bites sometimes.