Nintendo and the people behind the game emulator Yuzu have agreed to settle a lawsuit after a short civil dispute in district court over allegations that the software allowed folks to illegally download Tears of the Kingdom over one million times.

On February 26, Nintendo filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Rhode Island against Tropic Haze, the company behind the game emulator Yuzu, for “unlawfully [circumventing]” the handheld-console hybrid’s protective measures. In it, Nintendo alleged that Tropic Haze profited extensively from “illegally-obtained [copies]” of Switch games, including the smash hit 2022 RPG The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Now, in new legal documentation viewed by Kotaku on March 4, the two entities—Nintendo and Tropic Haze—have seemingly settled the short-lived dispute.

According to the filing, Tropic Haze must pay Nintendo $2.4 million. The developers must also stop offering Yuzu, hand over the emulator’s website—and any “modified Nintendo Switch consoles”—to Nintendo, and not attempt anything like this again.

“This permanent injunction constitutes a binding court order, and any violations of this order by Defendant or its members will subject them to the full scope of this Court’s contempt authority, including punitive, coercive, and monetary sanctions,” the filing reads. It still needs the judge’s approval, but should everything go through, this effectively spells the end of Tropic Haze and Yuzu as we know it. The team said as much in a Twitter post on March 4 following the settlement:

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.

Nintendo told Kotaku in an email to “reach out to the [Entertainment Software Association] to discuss this industry issue.” Kotaku has reached out to the ESA and Tropic Haze for comment.

This is a huge blow to game emulation, particularly as digital storefronts—like the 3DS and Wii U eShops—close up and classic games become harder to find. How can games be more accessible to folks as we enter an increasingly digitized future where games are no longer printed on physical discs?


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