Link wearing Royal Guard armor in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Screenshot by Destructoid.

Nintendo sues Switch emulator Yuzu

Nintendo locks onto a popular Switch emulator.

Nintendo has filed a lawsuit against the creators of Yuzu, an open-source Switch emulator. As first reported by Game File’s Stephen Totilo, the full legal document is available online, and it features a plethora of accusations against Yuzu and its creators.

Recommended Videos

As the lawsuit alleges, Yuzu allows players to play pirated games. The Switch maker has invested a lot to prevent piracy via multiple means, and at least two or three technological measures are always implemented to protect its games, including “encryption that scrambles the audiovisual content in the game file to make it unusable without the use of proprietary use of cryptographic keys.” Additional layers of encryption are also included to prevent the modification of its consoles.

The lawsuit also alleges that Yuzu’s site provides instructions on how to acquire unauthorized copies of Switch games. The emulator also opens up Switch games to non-native platforms, too. Nintendo claims that “without Yuzu’s decryption of Nintendo’s encryption, unauthorized copies of games could not be played on PC or Android devices.”

Nintendo describes this as a “tremendous harm,” for both it and third-party developers. The suit also points towards Yuzu’s Patreon, where the team earns thousands per month.

Leaks of the Kingdom

One of the games the lawsuit focuses on is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, as a leaked version was playable on Yuzu prior to the game’s full launch. Nintendo claims the leaked Tears was downloaded over a million times before launch. Nintendo is adamant that the ongoing piracy of games like results in “millions of dollars of monetary harm from lost video game sales.”

Nintendo also points to how piracy affects paying customers. This was the case with the latest The Legend of Zelda game, which forced fans to avoid social media lest they be exposed to screenshots of the leaked game before its official release. Images of Tweets are provided in the lawsuit to back up this claim.

Ultimately, Nintendo is asking the court to shut Yuzu down, and is also seeking damages.

Historically, Nintendo has also taken action against projects like the Dolphin emulator, as the gaming company claimed then that “using illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation.” The company also won a $2.1M lawsuit against RomUniverse in 2021.


Destructoid is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article FFXIV Live Letter summary: Dawntrail brings benchmark, DLSS upscaling, blacklist updates, and Yo-kai Watch event
FFXIV Live Letter reveal included the benchmark
Read Article Corn Kidz 64 is the perfect name for a modern N64 game
Corn Kidz 64 Switch port date
Read Article Helldivers 2 dev’s CEO explains why transmog won’t be coming to the game
helldivers posing in helldivers 2
Related Content
Read Article FFXIV Live Letter summary: Dawntrail brings benchmark, DLSS upscaling, blacklist updates, and Yo-kai Watch event
FFXIV Live Letter reveal included the benchmark
Read Article Corn Kidz 64 is the perfect name for a modern N64 game
Corn Kidz 64 Switch port date
Read Article Helldivers 2 dev’s CEO explains why transmog won’t be coming to the game
helldivers posing in helldivers 2
Author
Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.