Sponsored By

'With Yuzu in hand, nothing stops a user from obtaining and playing unlawful copies of virtually any game made for the Nintendo Switch.'

Chris Kerr, News Editor

February 28, 2024

2 Min Read
An image of Animal Crossing being played on a Switch from the Yuzu website
Image via Yuzu

Nintendo is suing the creators of Switch emulator Yuzu for allegedly enabling piracy.

In a lawsuit spotted by Game File, Nintendo claims the emulator "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."

It also describes emulators as software that allows users to "unlawfully play pirated video games," and claims one of Yuzu's lead developers has "publicly acknowledged" that most users pirate their software.

"With Yuzu in hand, nothing stops a user from obtaining and playing unlawful copies of virtually any game made for the Nintendo Switch, all without paying a dime to Nintendo or to any of the hundreds of other game developers and publishers making and selling games for the Nintendo Switch," reads the lawsuit, which you can find on Scribd.

"In effect, Yuzu turns general computing devices into tools for massive intellectual property infringement of Nintendo and others' copyrighted works."

Tears of the Kingdom piracy

To highlight the impact of piracy, Nintendo claims The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was unlawfully distributed a week and a half before its official release, and says some of those infringing copies were compatible with Yuzu.

Notably, the company adds that Tears of the Kingdom was pirated 1 million times prior to launch, and claims "many of the pirate websites specifically noted the ability to play the game file in Yuzu."

Nintendo states there is "no lawful way to use Yuzu" to play Switch titles, and claims Yuzu creator Tropic Haze LLC has done "manifest and irreparable" harm to its business.

The Japanese company is seeking a permanent injunction against Yuzu that would prevent all parties involved with the project from "manufacturing, offering to the public, or otherwise trafficking the Yuzu emulator and any other circumvention devices or software that target Nintendo."

It is also seeking statutory damages that would require the Yuzu team to pay sums ranging from $2,500 to $150,000 per violation of the DMCA and Nintendo's exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.

Read more about:

Top Stories

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like