Nintendo threatens Steam with legal action, forces removal of Dolphin Emulator from storefront
The legal showdown between Nintendo and Steam as the popular Dolphin emulator is forced to be removed from the Steam storefront.
Steam, the popular PC gaming platform from American gaming giant Valve Corp., has been threatened with legal action by Nintendo and has been issued a request to remove a particular product from its storefront.
The product in question is the Dolphin emulator, which allows users to play classic Nintendo games originally released on the Wii and GameCube consoles. While downloading emulation software like Dolphin is not illegal, the act of uploading and downloading ROMs (copies of the games) without proper authorization is against the law.
Nintendo has been known for its strict stance on protecting its exclusive titles and has taken legal action in the past against individuals involved in distributing and profiting from unauthorized Nintendo-owned properties. This includes the recent case where a person named Bowser was ordered to pay $14.5 million in damages to Nintendo for the illegal distribution of their games.
Previously, any user could download the Dolphin emulator from the Steam store. But now, Nintendo's legal threat prompted Valve, to remove Dolphin from the storefront.
This move may create some inconvenience for those who wished to emulate Nintendo games on the newly announced Steam Deck handheld device. Nonetheless, alternative methods of accessing the Dolphin emulator exist outside of the Steam store, as the internet always finds a way.
The Dolphin development team expressed disappointment in a statement posted on dolphin-emu.org, stating, “It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on steam release has been indefinitely postponed.”
They explained that Valve informed them about Nintendo's cease and desist notice, citing, “We were notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin’s Steam page, and have removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently investigating our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future.”
Nintendo emphasized its commitment to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers in a statement provided to Kotaku. “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.”
In other Nintendo-related news, fans have been expressing their desire for a sequel to the Nintendo GameCube classic, Super Mario Sunshine.
As the legal battle between Nintendo and Steam unfolds, the future availability of Dolphin on the Steam store remains uncertain.