Nintendo has removed little-known shooter Ironfall: Invasion from its 3DS eShop just days after prolific coder Jordan "Smealum" Rabet showed off a homebrew exploit that made use of the game.

The "Ironhax" exploit has yet to be released, but Ironfall is now unavailable to download in Europe and North America regardless.

Nintendo has been keeping an eye on Smealum's work for some time. Last year it pulled the digital version of Ubisoft puzzler Cubic Ninja in anticipation of the coder's "Ninjhax" exploit.

Smealum has yet to detail his method for using Ironfall, although has released footage of the game being made to boot a 3DS homebrew app.

The advantage of using Ironfall is clear - the game was available to download for free from the 3DS eShop, meaning that anyone would be able to freely use Smealum's new method.

"Everyone interested in 3DS homebrew should get Ironfall from the eShop for FREE! Tell all your friends, please RT!" Smealum wrote on Twitter at the start of August.

The Ironhax method was due to launch this week. And sure, enough:

Smealum has since apologised to Ironfall's developer VDev for sparking the removal of its game, although VDev had previously revealed it was downloaded "several hundred thousand times" after the exploit was announced (thanks, NeoGAF).

Ironhax has still to be released and it is unknown whether its removal from the 3DS eShop will affect the project.

Nintendo has yet to comment further.

Eurogamer spoke with Rabet last year before the launch of his Ninjhax project. The 22-year-old explained that he was interested in coding a homebrew launcher to help others release their games on the handheld - and not to enable emulation or piracy.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.