Dolphin Emulator is postponed indefinitely
According to a blog post on their webpage, the team behind the Dolphin Emulator has indefinitely postponed its release on Steam. This comes after a cease and desist order from Nintendo against Valve, the service provider behind Steam. The Dolphin Emulator would allow customers to play emulated WiiU and Gamecube games on their Steam Deck consoles. The blog post reads:
“It is with much disappointment that we have to announce that the Dolphin on Steam release has been indefinitely postponed. We were notified by Valve that Nintendo has issued a cease and desist citing the DMCA against Dolphin’s Steam page, and have removed Dolphin from Steam until the matter is settled. We are currently investigating our options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future.
We appreciate your patience in the meantime.”
This unfortunately coming after a post in March where the team announced that Dolphin would be coming to Steam. The blog post is full of optimism, with statements such as:
“When we launch on Steam, we’ll have a feature article detailing the process and features of the Steam release. We’re pleased to finally tell the world of our experiment. This has been the product of many months of work, and we look forward to getting it into users’ hands soon!” Oh, the hindsight we have now.
Nintendo strikes again!
This news comes as no surprise as Nintendo has been known to issue DMCA strikes against even it’s biggest fans, but many are disappointed knowing that they will not be able to play their favorite games on the new handheld Steam Deck. Especially since the official portable console by Nintendo, the Switch, does not allow gamers to enjoy Gamecube or WiiU games on it. Instead, customers are limited to a select, some may say few, games specifically curated by Nintendo for the system. And these games are even further limited to the original NES, Sega Genesis, Gameboy Advance, SNES and N64 systems, with the Genesis, Gameboy Advance and N64 requiring a membership to Nintendo Online with the expansion pack at a monthly or yearly cost.
In the letter, according to PC Gamer, Nintendo cites not only the emulation technology but also the ROM technology which allows consumers to essentially create and play digital copies of Nintendo Games, as violating DMCA provisions regarding Anti-Circumvention and AntiTrafficking. Which basically means that Nintendo believes the Dolphin team knows that their software would and could be used to break DMCA laws and that it intentionally runs its processes befor or at the time of Nintendo’s anti-piracy technology, thereby circumventing it.
While the team behind Dolphin asks users to be patient, it is unlikely that the software is released to Steam as Nintendo is known for being one of the most litigious companies in the industry. That said, ultimately time will tell as laws and regulations change over time. Who knows. Maybe Dolphin continues development with the hopes of being bought out by Nintendo for their technology. The possibility of that happening is almost none but one can always hope!