May 27, 2023 2 min read

Nintendo issue cease and desist to stop Dolphin emulator coming to Steam

Valve have removed the store page for the emulator 'Dolphin' from Steam following a takedown request from Nintendo.

Dolphin on Steam Deck

Valve have removed the store page for the emulator 'Dolphin' from Steam following a takedown request from Nintendo.

Back in March we shared news that popular GameCube emulation tool Dolphin would be making its way to the Steam store — however these plans have now been stopped following action from Nintendo.

In a short update post over on the Dolphin project website, the team behind the emulator detailed that "with much disappointment" the Steam release of the Dolphin emulator has now been "indefinitely postponed".

According to the Dolphin team, Valve notified them that Nintendo had issued a cease and desist notice, citing U.S. copyright law — specifically the 'Digital Millennium Copyright Act' (DMCA) — as a result, the Dolphin page on Steam has now been removed.

This move to de-list Dolphin from Steam doesn't strike me as particularly surprising — emulation tools such as Dolphin were bound to face an uphill battle in seeking wider distribution and legitimacy on established digital storefronts such as Steam. The long-running Dolphin project has long been available via its own channels, but copyright holders such as the Nintendo are bound to pay attention when such tools attempt to reach a wider audience in this way.

The Dolphin team remain optmistic however, stating that they "are currently investigating [...] options and will have a more in-depth response in the near future" — but I wouldn't hold your breath.

From where I'm standing, "Indefinitely postponed" sure sounds like a fancy way of saying 'cancelled' — but we shall see.

Of course, this de-listing from Steam doesn't mean you don't have other options — you can still grab Dolphin yourself directly from the project site, or use it via other emulation means, such as with EmuDeck for Steam Deck.

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