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Nintendo sues Yuzu, says Zelda TotK was pirated over 1m times on PC

Nintendo sues Yuzu Switch emulator on the grounds that it "unlawfully circumvents" game maker's IP by letting you play its games on PC.

Nintendo suing Yuzu: Link looking at his right arm, sunset behind him

Nintendo is suing Yuzu, the creator of a well-known Switch emulator, in an effort to “protect its intellectual property rights,” which the Japanese videogame company claims Yuzu “unlawfully circumvents” by letting users play Nintendo Switch games on PC. Nintendo’s lawsuit also alleges that Tears of the Kingdom, last year’s flagship Legend of Zelda release on Nintendo Switch, was successfully downloaded over one million times for use on PC over a week before the game was released.

Nintendo of America is suing the creators of the Yuzu emulator, Tropic Haze, on the grounds that Yuzu’s decryption software circumnavigates Nintendo’s own Switch encryption software designed to prevent piracy, letting users turn Switch releases into some of the best PC games.

“Yuzu unlawfully circumvents the technological measures on Nintendo Switch games and allows for the play of encrypted Nintendo Switch games on devices other than a Nintendo Switch,” the lawsuit (obtained by Game File’s Stephen Totilo) explains. “In other words, without Yuzu’s decryption of Nintendo’s encryption, unauthorized copies of games could not be played on PCs or Android devices.”

Nintendo says this means users can unlawfully obtain its games “without paying a dime” to itself and other game developers that put releases on the Switch, adding that Tropic Haze 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 suing Yuzu: an image of the document filing from Nintendo

Nintendo then adds that over one million copies of The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, last year’s flagship Zelda release on the Switch, were downloaded from pirating websites before the game’s launch, with many of these sites allegedly noting the ability to play the game via Yuzu.

From here, Nintendo claims that Tropic Haze’s distribution directly contributes to these levels of privacy, adding that the team is “thus secondarily liable for the infringement committed by the users to whom it distributes Yuzu.”

Nintendo is therefore seeking a permanent injunction against Tropic Haze for Yuzu, which would stop the manufacturing and offering of the emulator online, see the removal of the Yuzu website, and prompt reparations for the damage to Nintendo’s IP.

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This isn’t the first time Nintendo console emulators have come under fire, as just last year GameCube and Wii emulator Dolphin was planning a Steam release until Valve relayed a request from Nintendo to “prevent Dolphin from releasing on the Steam store.”

Dolphin added that, in this case, Nintendo had taken no legal action, instead relaying the request to Valve. In any case, Dolphin said at the time it was “abandoning our efforts to release Dolphin on Steam.”

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