Popular retro gaming and emulation site EmuParadise is changing, and will now no longer offer its library of ROMs. In a statement issued yesterday, the site’s creator, who is known as MasJ, said that while the site would continue to operate, it would no longer provide a place for people to download versions of their favourite retro games.
The statement does not explicitly offer a reason for the changes, but does note that “many of you are aware that the situation with regards to emulation sites has been changing recently.” Those familiar with the scene, however, will know that this comment refers to recent lawsuits filed by Nintendo against two other ROM sites, LoveROMS and LoveRETRO.
In the statement, MasJ says that “It’s not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences. I cannot in good conscience risk the futures of our team members who have contributed to the site through the years.” They state that while “we’ve always complied with takedown requests,” it’s not possible to provide ROMs “in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble.”
While the site’s ROM library is no longer available, MasJ does say that they will still be able to provide a database of emulators – you’ll just have to find the files to play on them elsewhere. The statement also promises something of “a new beginning” for the site after its 18 year running time, but at the moment it sounds as though the site’s next phase is still in development.
No action has been taken against EmuParadise specifically in relation to their statement, but they do mention reported threatening letters and server shutdowns over the course of their existence. Legally, Nintendo and any other companies involved in the decision have every right to enforce their IPs. Emulation fans argue, however, that there’s very little financial loss involved, and many of these games can’t be accessed, for love nor money, in their original forms.