Nintendo files lawsuit against creators of Yuzu emulator

Nintendo Sues Makers of Yuzu Emulator

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the creators of Yuzu, an open-source Nintendo Switch emulator, in a Rhode Island court. The lawsuit, which spans 41 pages, targets the company behind Yuzu, Tropic Haze, as well as an individual known as Bunnei who leads the development of the emulator. Yuzu, released in 2018 by the same team behind the Citra Nintendo 3DS emulator, allows users to play Nintendo Switch games on Windows PC, Linux, and Android devices, including the Steam Deck showcased by Valve.

Nintendo’s lawsuit alleges that Yuzu circumvents the company’s security measures by using decryption methods that involve “an illegally-obtained copy of prod.keys.” This allows unauthorized copies of Nintendo games to be played on non-Nintendo devices, a practice Nintendo deems illegal. The lawsuit specifically references the early leak and widespread piracy of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” with Nintendo attributing over 1 million downloads of the pirated version to Yuzu.

Despite Yuzu not distributing pirated games, Nintendo claims that the emulator is often used in conjunction with downloaded ROMs. The company stated that it has invested significant resources in combating illegal copying and distribution of its games, citing Yuzu’s monthly earnings of $30,000 on Patreon from over 7,000 supporters, along with at least $50,000 in paid downloads of the emulator.

In its legal action, Nintendo is seeking to have Yuzu shut down and is pursuing damages. The company’s proactive approach to protecting its intellectual property extends beyond this case, with successful lawsuits against pirated game sites and individuals involved in hacking Nintendo hardware. Nintendo’s stringent stance on piracy underscores its commitment to safeguarding its products and revenue streams.