Nintendo explained why it issued a cease and desist order against the Wii and GameCube emulator Dolphin due to its release on Steam, saying its presence “harms development and ultimately stifles innovation”.
Talking to KotakuA Nintendo spokesperson said the Dolphin emulator uses illegal practices to grant access to older Nintendo games.
“Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers,” said the spokesperson. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s security measures and runs illegal copies of games.
“Using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects other companies’ intellectual property rights, and in turn expects others to do the same.”
The Dolphin Emulator Project Team announced on May 27 that the Steam release has been “indefinitely delayed” after it received a cease and desist order from Nintendo.
“Valve has notified us that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist DMCA inference against the Dolphin Steam page, and has removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is resolved,” the company said at the time.
The legality and ethics of video game simulations is a regularly debated topic in the industry, and the outcome of this case may set a new precedent for the future.
Xbox president Phil Spencer believes in the practice as a tool for preservation, for example, saying he hopes one day “anyone can buy any game.”
Ryan Dinsdale is a freelance journalist for IGN and UK news editor. He’ll be talking about The Witcher all day.
“Lifelong beer expert. General travel enthusiast. Social media buff. Zombie maven. Communicator.”