Nintendo has blocked the Steam release of Wii emulator Dolphin

The planned Steam release for the Dolphin emulator has been indefinitely postponed according to a statement released on May 26. As the news broke, it was confirmed that the creators of the emulator, which allows users to play GameCube and Wii games, received a DMCA takedown notice from Nintendo and Valve reacted by removing Dolphin from the game store’s pages.

The Dolphin team that worked on the emulator expressed their disappointment in an official statement published on Friday. “It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on Steam release has been indefinitely postponed,” the statement reads. “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.”

What’s Next?

New information suggests that it might be the inclusion of the Wii Common Code in Dolphin’s source code that could be behind Nintendo’s DMCA takedown notice. Further tweets from @LuigiBlood quote the DMCA which mentions the inclusion of “cryptographic keys without Nintendo’s authorization.” see tweet below.

See more

What follows now is a legally grey area. The Dolphin team has two weeks to file a counter-notice with Valve if they believe that the emulator doesn’t violate the DMCA. They can make the case that there are other publicly available emulators on Steam, including RetroArch. Nintendo will then have two weeks to either sue or not to sue.

If Nintendo declines to sue, Dolphin could potentially be re-added on Steam, though whether that will ever happen is currently unknown. The downing of Dolphin on Steam storefront could have significant implications for game preservationists and others enthusiasts who use emulators.

We have reached out to Valve for comment, and will update our readers on this developing news in the coming days.