(Update) Groove Coaster Wai Wai Party mysteriously unavailable on Nintendo eShop
October 21 Update – Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai is once again available for purchase through the Nintendo eShop. Not only that, but it’s on sale now! You can grab it for $41.99, which is 30% off its usual retail price of $59.99. Now you can see what it was all about!
Update June 17 2:47 PM – Taito confirmed that it was indeed explicit lyrics that caused Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai to remove from the eShop. Speaking by Twitter, Taito says he’s “working on an update” to get the game back on sale. Once the update is applied, says Taito Groove Coaster will temporarily remain on sale with the new updated age rating of 17+ (mature), but that “another update” is in preparation to revert to the original 10+ (Everyone) rating. Taito also says he will be “much more careful” in the future. The original story follows below.
Original Story: Rhythm Game Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai has been removed from sale on Nintendo eShop. It’s not currently available through the US and EU versions of the store, and developer Taito said it’s investigating why this might have happened.
Why Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai been removed from the eShop?
Reddit user Dannyannyanny first noticed Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai was no longer available on the eShop two days ago. Next, Groove Coaster Taito developer announced yesterday this Groove Coaster and not all of its DLCs were available through the eShop, and that the studio is “currently investigating the cause”. Since then, Taito hasn’t tweeted anything further regarding the situation, suggesting he hasn’t yet been able to find out the cause or reach a resolution with Nintendo. As you’d expect, Nintendo hasn’t publicly commented on the situation either.
So why did this happen? The Reddit user who first spotted the game’s removal suggests it could be due to the addition of the song “Excuse My Rudeness, But Could You Please RIP?” by Vtuber Mori Calliope as part of a DLC pack. The lyrics of the song contain a number of very explicit words. Interestingly, the UK eShop page for the pack in question has a PEGI rating of 7, which would seem to suggest that the content went through an IARC (International Age Rating Coalition) automated process and that the song’s explicit lyrics were missed. Nintendo could then have taken those words back and hastily removed the game from sale while it makes a more permanent decision. This would be reinforced by the fact that there is no ESRB or PEGI listing for Groove Coaster Party Wai Waisuggesting that it never went through a manual approval process.
It should be noted that on the listing page of the US store, which is still online (but without a “buy” button), Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai had its ESRB rating changed from Everyone 10+ to Mature 17+, with a “foul language” warning accompanying the rating. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say whether this is also the case for the PEGI classification on the European listing, the page being currently completely inaccessible. The eShop listings for several DLC packs are still live and still show a PEGI rating of 7, however.
How will this situation be resolved?
There are a number of possibilities here. Nintendo could put the game back on sale with its new rating intact, which could hurt sales considering it’s a pretty big jump from Everyone to Mature. Alternatively, Taito could heavily censor the song or songs causing the problem, which could convince Nintendo to reinstate Groove Coaster Party Wai Waioriginal note. There is also the possibility – albeit slim – that an agreement will not be reached and that Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai will be permanently unavailable on the eShop, in which case Taito may seek to port the game to other platforms. Again, that’s extremely unlikely, but it’s a remote possibility.
It’s unclear what course of action Taito and Nintendo intend to follow. We reached out to Taito and its parent company Square for comment, and we also reached out to Hololive, Nintendo’s agency Vtuber, and Mori Calliope for their thoughts on this story. We’ll tell you more about it as soon as we have it. In the meantime, it’s worth watching Taito’s Twitter page for any further development.
What do you think of the Groove Coaster Party Wai Wai situation? Have you played the DLC in question? Let us know in the comments below!