Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu to shut down after legal settlement

The creators of Yuzu will pay Nintendo USD $2.4 million in damages.
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Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu is set to be shut down imminently, as part of a settlement with Nintendo. In late February 2024, the company sued Yuzu creator Tropic Haze, claiming its program illegally circumvented copyright protections for Nintendo Switch software, allowing piracy at a worldwide scale.

In an effort to avoid a costly lawsuit with a dire outcome, Tropic Haze has chosen to quickly settle with Nintendo. Per reporting from journalist Stephen Totilo, Tropic Haze has proposed the immediate shut down of Yuzu, handing the program’s website to Nintendo, and paying USD $2.4 million in damages. As part of the settlement, Yuzu would also be labelled as “primarily designed for the purpose of circumventing technological measures” in violation of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The creators of the program will also be barred from creating any future software that circumvents Nintendo’s console and software protections. Given a new Nintendo Switch is rumoured to launch by 2025, this particular clause appears to be aimed at future-proofing upcoming plans.

Read: Nintendo Wii and GameCube emulator Dolphin cancels Steam launch

As part of its lawsuit against Tropic Haze, Nintendo claimed blockbuster Switch release The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was pirated over a million times in its launch week, with Yuzu facilitating piracy by allowing players to illegally access the ROM.

“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 company argued.

In a statement on social media, Tropic Haze denied this was the original intention of Yuzu.

“Yuzu and its team have always been against piracy,” the post reads. “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 authorised 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.”

As detailed in the settlement, Yuzu is set to be shut down, with domain ownership transferring to Nintendo.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.