Nintendo Sues Creators Of Popular Switch Emulator, Yuzu

Nintendo, the popular Japanese multinational video game company, has filed a lawsuit against the creators of the popular Switch emulator, Yuzu, for “facilitating piracy at a colossal scale.”

The 41-page lawsuit was first discovered by Stephen Totilo, Game File reporter, who partially shared it on his X account (formerly Twitter).

The lawsuit was filed by Nintendo on February 26th (available online) against Tropic Haze LLC, creators of Yuzu, at the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

“Nintendo is suing the creators of popular Switch emulator Yuzu, saying their tech illegally circumvents Nintendo’s software encryption and facilitates piracy. Seeks damages for alleged violations and a shutdown of the emulator,” Totilo wrote on his X account.


For the uninitiated, Yuzu is a free and open-source emulator of the Nintendo Switch, developed in C++, that was initially released in 2018, 10 months after the Nintendo Switch was launched.

The software can be used to play pirated Nintendo Switch games on platforms like Windows PC, Linux, Android devices, and Steam Deck, which would not otherwise be possible due to the protections that Nintendo has put into place on its consoles and games.

In its lawsuit, Nintendo alleges that Yuzu violated the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It claimed the Yuzu emulator is a tool for “massive intellectual property infringement of Nintendo and others’ copyrighted works.”

It further stated that the developers of Yuzu ‘unlawfully’ several layers of Nintendo Switch encryption and caused damage to their game sales, by allowing copyrighted Nintendo games to run on other hardware. This, in turn, has affected the company’s reputation.

The lawsuit also explicitly cites the example of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, whose copy of the game was leaked online a week and a half before its launch and downloaded illegally more than one million times before the game was properly released.

The company argues that “thousands of additional paid members of Yuzu’s Patreon signed up so that they could download the early access build and play unlawful copies” of Tears of the Kingdom.

Further, Nintendo pointed to the significant growth on its Patreon tiers between May 1 and May 15, 2023, and claimed Yuzu’s business model propagates gaming piracy.

With this lawsuit, Nintendo is asking the court for a complete shutdown of the Yuzu emulator and to seize and destroy all copies of it owned by the developers in addition to software and hardware it believes violates its copyright.

The Japanese video game developer is also seeking $2,500 for every violation of the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the DMCA, as well as $150,000 for each copyright violation of Nintendo’s exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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