okay guys it’s looking like this whole mess is a bug in the latest update. here’s what we know.
in NA (maybe other regions but def not EU), ACNL has to be updated in order to play. in order to update ACNL, the 3DS must be updated to 11.3. (11.3 has patched soundhax/ homebrew for sure, but that’s not the big issue here.)
for some people, once the 3DS and ACNL are updated, their ACNL town can’t be loaded. it says to download the latest update from the eShop and load the game again. even though there is no update in the eShop.
some players in NA (and so far everyone in other regions) are NOT having this problem, both hacked and nonhacked towns. even with everything updated, they can still play their town normally.
this makes it pretty clear this issue is A BUG and NOT Nintendo blocking hacked towns from being played.
also, if Nintendo was banning hackers, they wouldn’t make it look like players needed to update their game but then not have an update available. that definitely sounds like a bug.
breathe, stay calm, be patient. Nintendo should patch this.
when I personally update everything, I’ll let you know what I experience.