Yuzu Is Officially Shutting Down As It Settles With Nintendo And Pays $2.4 Million USD

Now you're just somebody that I Yuzu to know.

Update 5/3: After Nintendo recently sued Tropic Haze, creator of the super-popular Switch emulator, Yuzu, the two have settled to the tune of $2.4 million USD in damages and the US District Court of Rhode Island has ordered that development and distribution of both Yuzu and Citra (a 3DS emulator) be discontinued with all websites and other services shut down.

Tropic Haze released a statement on social media confirming that both emulators are discontinued immediately and stating that rampant piracy and disseminating of early game leaks was never its intention. It will be taking its code repositories offline, discontinuing Patreon accounts and Discord servers as well as shutting down its websites. The full statement reads:

“Hello yuz-ers and Citra fans:

“We write today to inform you that yuzu and yuzu’s support of Citra are being discontinued, effective immediately.

“yuzu and its team have always been against piracy. We started the projects in good faith, out of passion for Nintendo and its consoles and games, and were not intending to cause harm. But we see now that because our projects can circumvent Nintendo’s technological protection measures and allow users to play games outside of authorized hardware, they have led to extensive piracy. 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.

“We have come to the decision that we cannot continue to allow this to occur. Piracy was never our intention, and we believe that piracy of video games and on video game consoles should end. Effective today, we will be pulling our code repositories offline, discontinuing our Patreon accounts and Discord servers, and, soon, shutting down our websites. We hope our actions will be a small step toward ending piracy of all creators’ works.

“Thank you for your years of support and for understanding our decision.”

While the full ramifications are obviously not yet known, a result like this is sure to have a massive impact on the emulation scene going forward with a precedent set that major video game platform holders can and will go after these projects, and can get the result they’re looking for.

Original Story: Nintendo is suing the creators of Yuzu, a popular open-source Switch emulator that’s readily available on Windows, Linux and Android devices.

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News of the lawsuit was broken by Game File’s Stephen Totilo, which can be read in full here and alleges that Yuzu facilitates piracy and circumventing of Nintendo’s protective technologies “at a colossal scale.”

“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,” the document reads. “In effect, Yuzu turns general computing devices into tools for massive intellectual property infringement of Nintendo and others’ copyrighted works.

Nintendo also highlights that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was leaked and playable via emulator a full week and a half before Nintendo had even released the game, and claims it was illegally downloaded a million times before launch, adding that many of the websites making the game available to download were calling out Yuzu as a way to play the game.

While there are naturally a lot of complexities to the idea of emulation, and what is and isn’t legal as far as folks playing backed-up versions of their games (not to mention the importance of game preservation), Nintendo specifically calls out that “Yuzu allows users to play unauthorised copies of Nintendo Switch games by circumventing the Game Encryption at or immediately before runtime,” which is likely a key point in its argument given that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) does contain certain protections against products primarily aimed at circumventing control measures for copyrighted works.

As a resolution, Nintendo is asking the courts to not only shut down Yuzu’s operations but take away its social media, domain names, URLs and even possess any of Yuzu’s devices including hard drives that contain violating material and destroying all copies it has of the emulator.

Although the actual odds of Nintendo succeeding in this legal endeavour are already being argued against quite heavily, there could be some very real ramifications on the emulation scene if it does win its case.