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Switch emulator Yuzu to cease being a thing, as creator agrees to pay Nintendo $2.4 million and slams piracy

The lawsuit’s been settled, and it took less than a week.

A Nintendo Switch.
Image credit: VG247/Nintendo

Well, there you go. Tropic Haze, the creator of popular Switch emulator Yuzu, has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Nintendo, officially announcing that it’ll be both bringing an end to its support of the software and pulling a bunch of stuff related to it offline.

Just last week, we learned that the company behind that plumber and the little pink blob was suing Yuzu in US court, with Nintendo alleging in the lawsuit that the emulator was contributing to piracy of its games, with Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom being cited as the main example. Now, according to a joint motion filed by the two parties, they’ve agreed to a “judgement in favour of Nintendo”, which’ll see Tropic Haze pay the publisher $2.4 million of “monetary relief”.

The terms of this settlement will also see Yuzu’s developers be barred from both “offering to the public, providing, marketing, advertising, promoting, selling, testing, hosting, cloning, distributing, or otherwise trafficking in Yuzu or any source code or features of Yuzu”, and from doing the same with any “other software or devices that circumvent Nintendo’s technical protection measures”. They’ll also have to turn over any tech used to circumvent Nintendo’s device protection and any modified Switches in their possession.

If you’ve any doubt as to what this means for Yuzu, don’t worry, the emulator’s devs have issued a statement outlining exactly that. After beginning with a nice greeting that casually refers to folks as “yuz-ers”, which is a bit weird given the context, the devs swifty explain that: “Yuzu and Yuzu's support of [fellow emulator] Citra are being discontinued, effectively immediately”.

The statement goes on to emphasise that the team behind Yuzu is against piracy, with the devs saying that, despite “not intending to cause harm”, they’re now aware that their projects have “led to extensive piracy” by allowing users to play Nintendo’s games in ways that weren't intended by the publisher. “In particular, we have been deeply disappointed when users have used our software to leak game content prior to its release and ruin the experience for legitimate purchasers and fans,” Yuzu’s devs added.

So, they’ve decided that they can’t allow these things to keep happening, and “will be pulling our code repositories offline, discontinuing our Patreon accounts and Discord servers, and, soon, shutting down our websites.” Having emphasised again that: “piracy was never our intention, and we believe that piracy of video games and on video games consoles should end”, Yuzu’s devs conclude the statement by thanking the emulator’s users for their support and understanding.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of precedent, if any, this case may set for other lawsuits regarding emulation that could pop up in the future. One thing’s for certain as of right now, it certainly seems to have made plenty of folks who’re into emulation nervous about what could be in store going forwards.

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