Nintendo and Valve Team Up to Block Dolphin Emulator from Steam

It was reported earlier this week that Nintendo has DMCA’d the Dolphin Emulator, and it’s release on Steam will be delayed indefinitely. However, it has now come to light that Valve had actually worked together with Nintendo to take down the emulator from Steam.

Just today, on 3rd of May, The Verge had acquired some copies of the letters between Valve and Nintendo. From these it can clearly be seen how Valve had brought the issue of the Wii Common Key to Nintendo’s attention.

If you aren’t aware, Dolphin is an emulator that is designed to run GameCube and Wii games, both of which belong to Nintendo. Now, the issue of playing games on an emulator can be debatable, but what Dolphin was doing here was actively decrypting Wii games to go past the anti-piracy measures Nintendo had set.

Nintendo claims that because this is a violation of the Copyright Act, it is illegal to distribute the emulator. Due to the presence of the Wii Common Key (to decrypt the games) within the emulator, legal experts believe Nintendo may have a solid case.

In its letters to Valve, Nintendo also mentioned DMCA Section 1201, which forbids the distribution of technologies that are mainly made to get around access controls on copyrighted works. This means that Nintendo might have thought about taking legal action against Valve for assisting to spread Dolphin Emulator.

Valve had noticed this when Dolphin publicly announced they were coming to Steam. Something that’s more unusual here is that Dolphin was taken off of Steam without giving them a chance to counter this. From this, it can very easily be seen how Dolphin may have done something that has given Valve a pretty solid reason to kick it out of the platform.

Valve emphasised that Steam is an open platform where only legally authorised content can be distributed. The company has made it clear that it does not have the authority to resolve disagreements between third parties and that it instead relies on the parties involved to do so through the appropriate legal channels or through negotiation.

While the joint effort between Nintendo and Valve may have effectively prevented the Dolphin Emulator from being distributed through Steam, it is uncertain whether Nintendo would file a lawsuit against Valve.

To be honest, It seems unlikely that this issue will be simply resolved, though, considering Nintendo’s history of taking legal action against emulators. After all, the emulator was identified on Valve’s platform. This is all we know for now but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.
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