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Dolphin backs off of Steam release after Nintendo’s lawyers step in

Dolphin, the highly-regarded Gamecube and Wii emulator, has plans canceled for a Steam release following the involvement of Nintendo’s lawyers.

The team behind the emulator initially promised that Dolphin would come to Steam this year, but ran into difficulties back in May when Nintendo issued a cease and desist for its release on the popular PC gaming client. Now, after increased pressure from Nintendo, the Dolphin team has elected to back off from releasing the emulator on Steam entirely.

A blog post from the Dolphin team explains the situation in greater clarity. It confirms that “Nintendo did not send Valve or Dolphin a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA),” as was speculated at the time. It adds that “Nintendo has not taken any legal action against Dolphin Emulator or Valve.”

The post goes on to explain that it was a Valve representative that contacted Nintendo at first. In response, a Nintendo of America lawyer “requested Valve prevent Dolphin from releasing on the Steam store,” after which Valve relayed to the Dolphin team that it must reach an agreement with Nintendo for the Steam release to go ahead.

“But given Nintendo’s long-held stance on emulation,” the post continues, “we find Valve’s requirement for us to get approval from Nintendo for a Steam release to be impossible. Unfortunately, that’s that.”

The post concludes with the team stating confidence that the Dolphin emulator shouldn’t be in any legal danger and that many of the features the team worked on for the Steam release will still be available in the standalone version. These include a new ‘Big Picture’ user interface and several quality-of-life improvements it’s yet to divulge.

Nintendo’s legal department is famously hawkish when it comes to emulation and piracy, so right now, it appears that Dolphin has gotten off the hook relatively lightly.  For now, then, it doesn’t appear as if the emulator itself is in any danger of disappearing.

In other news, Pokémon Sleep has finally soft-launched in a number of regions, but fans have noticed the mobile app records much more unflattering sounds than just your snoring habits.

More blog post here