Nintendo has accepted responsibility for the "Red Tulip problem" in DS title Animal Crossing: Wild World, putting an end to rumours that the bug was caused by malicious hackers.
Animal Crossing: Wild World lets players set up home in a cartoon-style town, and visit each others' towns via the Wi-Fi Connection service. The game is not out in Europe until March 31, but many eager AC fans have already imported copies from the US.
Last week reports began to circulate that players were receiving a special letter within the game which contained a "Red Tulip" item. Players could plant the tulip in their homes, but then found that unlike other items, it could not be picked up, covered or removed.
As more and more gamers began to experience the same problem, speculation that the Red Tulip was some kind of hack or possibly even trojan virus began to grow - with some claiming that the "Red Tulip plague" was proof the Wi-Fi Connection network had been hacked.
But now Nintendo has gone on record to deny these rumours, stating that it's all down to a problem with its systems at the time of the Red Tulip's upload.
"Nintendo would like to thank its numerous Animal Crossing: Wild World fans for helping identify and correct an unforeseen issue with the game. Some users of the community-simulation game for Nintendo DS noticed that receiving a letter containing a 'Red Tulip' could cause interference with gameplay," Nintendo said in an official statement issued to the press.
"We have isolated the problem and determined that there was a temporary error with the upload tool when this letter was posted. Thankfully we have been able to limit the number of people affected by removing the related file from circulation. Players who have received the letter should delete it before placing the Red Tulip anywhere in their characters' homes."
The statement goes on to emphasise that "tulips themselves are not the problem", noting that other colours do not cause any disruptions to gameplay. In addition, the Red Tulip only results in problems if players plant it indoors.
Nintendo pledged to find a solution to the problem, stating: "We are investigating ways to remove the item from the homes of players who have experienced gameplay interference, and we will update the Animal Crossing: Wild World FAQ on NintendoWiFi.com when we have more information to share."