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Nintendo wants to shut down Yuzu emulator, sues creators

Company is seeking damages for alleged violations
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Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the creators of Yuzu, a popular emulator allowing people to play Nintendo Switch games on other platforms, as first reported by Stephen Totilo. The Japanese company seeks damages for alleged violations of the law and wants Yuzu to be shut down.

Nintendo alleges that Yuzu’s tech illegally circumvents the company’s software encryption and knowingly assists with game piracy. “Defendant and its agents are fully aware of the use of Yuzu by others in performing circumvention, and in facilitating piracy at a colossal scale,” Nintendo’s lawyers wrote. “Yuzu’s website acknowledges that the Nintendo Switch’s decryption keys (the prod.keys) are required to decrypt games and includes links to software that unlawfully extract those keys from the Nintendo Switch.”

A white Nintendo Switch OLED model sitting in its dock, with Joy-Con controllers to its left

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against a popular Switch emulator.

In regards to the allegations of supporting piracy, Nintendo’s legal team fielded the 2023 launch of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as an example. It wrote that the title “was unlawfully distributed a week and a half before its release by Nintendo. Infringing copies of the game that circulated online were able to be played in Yuzu, [...]. Many of the pirate websites specifically noted the ability to play the game file in Yuzu.”

“Defendant’s development and distribution of Yuzu to the public materially contributes to and induces those third parties to infringe the copyrights in Nintendo’s games,” the lawyers argued. “Defendant is thus secondarily liable for the infringement committed by the users to whom it distributes Yuzu.”

In the lawsuit, Nintendo stated that Tears of the Kingdom had been illegally downloaded over a million times ahead of release from pirate websites.

Yuzu, which runs on a Patreon business model, saw its revenue massively increase in that time frame due to the hype around Tears of the Kingdom.