Nintendo Switch emulator ‘yuzu’ shuts down due to lawsuit

Posted on March 5, 2024

The Nintendo Switch emulator, yuzu, has announced that it will shut down due to a lawsuit settlement between Nintendo and the emulator’s company, Tropic Haze.

For those out of the loop, yuzu is a free and open-source emulator for the Nintendo Switch and was first released back in 2018. Nintendo Insider reported that Nintendo filed a lawsuit against the emulator’s developers back in late February 2024, claiming that the software was “helping piracy become more prevalent.”

Mario on the Nintendo Switch OLED

According to the emulator’s website, both yuzu and Citra were discontinued immediately due to their technology being able to “circumvent Nintendo’s technological protection measures.” It claimed that they were against piracy and that the decision to shut down its website, Discord server, and Patreon accounts is a step towards “ending piracy of all creators’ works.”

“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.”

Official court documents state that Tropic Haze will pay Nintendo $2.4 million (~$3.6 million AUD) and that it is no longer allowed to market, distribute, or offer anything to the public involving yuzu and its source code. At the same time, Tropic Haze isn’t allowed to develop anything that could circumvent Nintendo’s technical protection measures. The emulator’s developers were also ordered to hand over all physical circumvention devices to Nintendo, including modified Nintendo Switch Consoles.

This isn’t the first time that Nintendo cracked down on video game emulators. Back in 2023, Nintendo sent a cease and desist letter to the creators of Dolphin after it announced it was making its way to Steam. Meanwhile, in 2018, Nintendo took 2 huge ROM distribution websites to court over mass copyright infringement charges.