Nintendo does not mess around with its intellectual property. Whether that is source code for decades-old games, or an emulator for their current Nintendo Switch console, they fight tooth and nail for their IP. Now, according to a new decision and lawsuit, the creators of the Yuzu emulator have agreed to pay Nintendo $2.4 million in damages and cease all support for the open-source Switch emulator.

Nintendo sued Yuzu’s developers in U.S. Federal Court, alleging that the emulator is “primarily designed” to circumvent several layers of Switch encryption in order to make it possible to play Nintendo games on devices such as Steam Deck. Nintendo argued in its filing that Tropic Haze (the creators of Yuzu) was liable for the distribution of illegal copies of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, claiming that it had been pirated up to 1 million times before release.

The proposed final judgment and permanent injunction document has forbid the distribution of Yuzu in all its forms while shutting down their website and other services. Another incredibly popular emulator, Citra, which handles Nintendo 3DS, will also be discontinued.

Nintendo didn’t want just money for this lawsuit, they wanted to destroy Yuzu and Citra in all of its forms. They also have control of their domain and social media accounts.

Here’s the official statement from Yuzu’s creators.

Hello yuz-ers and Citra fans: We write today to inform you that yuzu and yuzu’s support of Citra are being discontinued, effective immediately.

yuzu and its team have always been against piracy. We started the projects in good faith, out of passion for Nintendo and its consoles and games, and were not intending to cause harm. But we see now that because our projects can circumvent Nintendo’s technological protection measures and allow users to play games outside of authorized hardware, they have led to extensive piracy. In particular, we have been deeply disappointed when users have used our software to leak game content prior to its release and ruin the experience for legitimate purchasers and fans.

We have come to the decision that we cannot continue to allow this to occur. Piracy was never our intention, and we believe that piracy of video games and on video game consoles should end. Effective today, we will be pulling our code repositories offline, discontinuing our Patreon accounts and Discord servers, and, soon, shutting down our websites. We hope our actions will be a small step toward ending piracy of all creators’ works.

Thank you for your years of support and for understanding our decision.

This isn’t the first time that Nintendo has gone after emulation and it won’t be the last. They’ve successfully sued various ROM platforms for millions of dollars in damages and have had other emulators shut down. The topic and discussion around emulation does have issues with piracy, but there’s also the question of preservation of these games. Emulation is necessary, especially when games are lost to time, lost to digital storefronts closing, or other issues.

We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops.

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