Just a couple of days back, Nintendo hit Valve with a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaint over a Steam listing for the Dolphin emulator, which lets people play Wii and GameCube titles. Valve reached out to the team behind the emulator to let them know of the issue, which is why Valve yanked the listing from their digital storefront.

The Dolphin team has said that the planned Steam launch has now been ‘indefinitely postponed.’ Along with that, the developers behind Dolphin are “currently investigating options” for their future, but you can bet Nintendo will be watching their every move along the way.

While we heard about this fiasco last week, Nintendo has actually offered further comment on the matter. A Nintendo spokesperson has shared a statement with Kotaku about the DMCA, and it not only explains why Nintendo went after the emulation team, but also why Nintendo so aggressively fights emulation in general.

“Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s protection measures and runs illegal copies of games. Using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects the intellectual property rights of other companies, and in turn expects others to do the same.”

[Nintendo spokesperson]

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Comments (20)


1y ago

You guys should pull Nintendo's hog out from your throat. Emulation isn't illegal emulation isn't illegal emulation isn't illegal Nintendo is an oligarchy Nintendo is an oligarchy Nintendo is an oligarchy


1y ago

I get that Dolphin and RetroArch and others are trying to push legal emulation to a more mainstream audience here, but this is going to met with a lot of pushback like this, especially when including copyrighted material in the emulator itself, putting the entire thing in jeopardy.


1y ago

Heh, what a load. Emulators are not illegal, lmao. While it is capable of playing pirated games, it's goal is to be able to play authentic disc's or perfectly legal copies of your own disc's. And what protection measures? The AP on consoles to ensure its a legitimate disc? If they're using a legit disc or copy of one that they own, does it really matter? This is just bullying because they want you to buy the game multiple times, or subscribe to their online service.


1y ago

That's a complete lie. They just are rabidly protective of their IP because the Big N wants to sell these old games again. And again. And again. And again. Dolphin prevents that.

And I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing. It's just business.


1y ago

I wish more publishers would understand that emulators help drive sales. It's free advertising! It's especially good advertising to countries that simply don't allow the sale of these consoles, as they often wouldn't be able to play these games otherwise, let alone be able to buy them.

Stifling emulators simply makes more people want to put effort into NOT supporting you as a company, losing sales. It also quickens interest for cracking teams to work harder at breaking your encryption and security.

It's simply a smarter financial move to leave well enough alone. Sega and Capcom understand this. Capcom removes their DRM consistently off their Steam releases a year after release with an update. Why can't Nintendo get it?


1y ago

There are a few good summaries on the situation, but Nintendo actually has some legal grounds to action here.

You can verify that Dolphin is distributing cryptographic keys with their current release to decrypt Roms, this is what's causing them issues with Nintendo.

Until they remove these from emulation and have people get their own, Nintendo has every right to shut this down. They need to approach this in the same way PCSX2 does and require the user to provide their own key.


1y ago

It's all nice, but can Nintendo explain us, why they put down an emulator that using consoles that won't be accessible anymore after August? Both of these consoles shut down their store on August. Why they not honest? They want to put titles on Nintendo plus service, that's already overpriced. Xbox didn't attack the emulators. They know players play games on x360 emulator they can't play anymore, like doax 2. Truly, it's easy why happened now.the Dolphin team was really close to get emulator run perfectly Xenoblade and Pokemon games, all of them. If these games wouldn't be Nintendo exclusive, lot of players don't have Nintendo Switch. Me too. Nintendo see this the perfect way to remove this team and stop them making the app, that would destroy their sales. The real targets is the team, not the emulator. Also suggest everyone to give up hopes about an agreement, any option is a risk for Nintendo to destroy their sales records. It's questionable the whole thing true, but Nintendo never accepted any deal, suggestions or cooperations with any company to bring those titles to PC or other consoles, while sending rude comments too with that. Nintendo destroyed some bigger places and teams successfully before, but they will hit a wall one day, attacking something that's having too much support, and would lose more customers than win with that. Even this case is dangerous, because Dolphin very supported and loved by people, but if they'd go after Drastic too, they'd do the biggest mistake in business history of all time. I hope Nintendo stop these things before they hurt the Nintendo players base itself. Instead make Nintendo closed and separated by other platforms (sorry if not understandable fully, English is not my native language), they'd make a Nintendo cloud game service for mobile and PC. I have a feeling, nothing is more important for the company, than be the numbers in their favor on console sales lists.
The true question, what we, the players will get in positive or negative way from this.


1y ago

Wow, that is 100% inaccurate. Nintendo uses emulators to run their old games as well, so by their logic, that also stifles innovation.


1y ago

Lol oh no! They're emulating our 16 and 21 year old systems! Yeah it stifles innovation because of all the people still buying GameCube and Wii? No. Just a turd of a company. Even it's fansites promote censorship. Lol at all the comments under review by mods.


1y ago

I don’t get why the spokesperson isn’t just saying the real reason why they went after Dolphin. Dolphin uses keys that are owned by Nintendo and using these without their permission is illegal and a problem. Nintendo is totally in the right for once but instead of simply saying „they used copyrighted material“ they say bs like „we have to protect our stuff and illegal things are illegal and super evil“. Makes them look bad in a case where it doesn’t have to be this case xD


1y ago

It kills innovation alright like when Nintendo used a Mario dumped ROM they found on the internet.


1y ago

WTF is with all the “This comment is currently under review by the moderation team.” on this story?!


1y ago


All new comment sign-ups have their first message held in moderation so we can check if they are spambots are not. Just wanted to clear that up. Sorry about the delay.


1y ago

Lol, Nintendo doesn't profit when we get on ebay and buy something used.. if they want to be part of a good cause, maybe they should join in the fight against libraries


1y ago

Emulation isn't illegal - FACT
Nintendo Does not make the LAWS - FACT
Nintendo does not deserve you slobbing their knob sop blatantly and so willfully ignorant of the facts. Sorry to say, but this fight will be the END of Nintendo. so they may want to wise up and decide not to become extinct...


1y ago

"It kills innovation".. like when Nintendo used a Mario dumped ROM they found on the internet... Because they didnt have the Rom dump in their OWN databases... Go figure.. Emulation SAVED Nintendo... More then once might I add.
Nevermind the innovation that has spawned from emulators and modding games.. Such as multiplayer Zelda BOTW... Article writer failed to do his research. Failed to take Nintendo's shlong out of his/her throat before talking on the subject.


1y ago


The story about Nintendo downloading their own Mario ROM has been proven wrong, just fyi. Nevertheless, I agree with your points.

The ROM in question contains a (.NES) header used by emulators thus it was obtained by the same means Nintendo condemns, whether that was done intentionally with their approval or not, it will not change the fact.


1y ago

For those of you that are wondering why Nintendo doesn't play around with stuff like this, moon channel explained it very well.


1y ago


That was fucking great! Really explains things in detail, yet enough so we mortals can understand. Sure, some we already knew, but there was a lot to learn here.

Thanks, Nox!