Nintendo Sues Yuzu, the Emulating Site that Distributed One Million Illegal Copies of ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ Pre-Release

Tears of the Kingdom (Photo from Nintendo)

Nintendo sues the popular Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu, or more specifically its creators, Tropic Haze, in US federal court. Their main argument lies within Tropic Hazes’ methods of “facilitating piracy at a colossal scale.”

The lawsuit was filed on February 26, 2024, in the United States District Court of Rhode Island. Reporter and X/Twitter user Stephen Totilo brought the news to the public, with his tweet reaching 1.8 million views.

Nintendo wants to prove that Yuzu violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). More specifically, they are focusing on its anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions section. Not to mention, Nintendo is also accusing Yuzu of copyright infringement.

Audiences can view the entire 41-page lawsuit below:

What Does Nintendo Want?

Nintendo office. Photo from Nintendo
Photo from Nintendo

Nintendo’s main goal is to stop Yuzu from pirating their games. They would also love to take away their entire brand. This includes their URLs, domain names, and social media presence. Essentially, Nintendo is fighting for rights for to leave no trace of their progress regarding Nintendo ROMs and emulators.

If Nintendo wins, they will demand $150,000 to pay the damages Yuzu has caused, and turn over any profit gained from their illegal methods.

The company also claims that Yuzu managed to earn a lot over the past years thanks to piracy. Yuzu’s Patreon page releases “daily updates,” “early access content,” and “special unreleased features” for their subscribers, which lets them earn $30,000 a month.

According to Nintendo’s findings, Yuzu’s Patreon subscription doubled between May 1 and May 12 due to the Tears of the Kingdom leaks they released.

Additionally, Nintendo is concerned that the emulating site provides “detailed instructions” on how to “get it running with unlawful copies of Nintendo Switch games.” With Yuzu’s help, people could get their hands on cryptographic keys, which are used to decrypt and play unauthorized but free copies of Nintendo games.

As a result, fans around the globe managed to download over one million copies of the game before its actual release, thanks to Yuzu.

Some fans are claiming that Nintendo has no case. However, there are attorneys, such as Richard Hoeg, who think there is a real chance for them to win.”

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