Publisher Natsume confirmed that Nintendo is killing off Game Boy releases for the 3DS Virtual Console as it shifts its focus to the portable’s successor platforms on the Wii U.
“Nintendo have [sic] moved on from Game Boy games,” a Natsume representative stated in response to a fan requesting a specific back-catalog Game Boy Virtual Console release. “If it’s a Natsume game not out now, it’s not coming.”
The Nintendo 3DS hosts dozens of classic Game Boy games in its digital eShop catalog, ranging from Nintendo-published titles like Super Mario Land and Balloon Kid to third-party games like Double Dragon and Capcom’s Mega Man series.
Though several legacy Game Boy titles saw Virtual Console ports in 2011, the service’s release schedule quickly tapered off in the years afterward. After a months-long gap in new releases, the 3DS Virtual Console’s final three Game Boy titles (Donkey Kong Land and its sequels) launched in February of this year.
The 3DS Virtual Console also hosts digital versions of games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega’s Game Gear, among other legacy consoles and portables. It’s now been several months since the 3DS saw a new Virtual Console release for any of its supported platforms.
While Nintendo has not announced plans to abandon any segment of its Virtual Console service, publisher Natsume has been outspoken regarding the company’s shift in focus. When questioned regarding future Super NES releases for the Wii U’s Virtual Console earlier this year, Natsume revealed that “Nintendo’s interest has moved onto other classic systems.”
New Virtual Console games continue to arrive monthly on Nintendo’s Wii U home console, with recent additions including Pocky & Rocky with Becky for the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf, and DK Jungle Climber for the Nintendo DS.