At the end of May, the Dolphin Emulator team revealed that its release on Steam had been “indefinitely delayed” after being contacted by Valve.
Valve spokesperson Kaci Aitchison Boyle has now released a statement (across the edge), confirming that Valve originally reached out to Nintendo:
Given Nintendo’s history of taking action against certain emulators, we proactively brought this to their attention after Team Dolphin announced it would soon be available on Steam.
Here’s Valve’s full response, explaining that this is a legal dispute between Nintendo and Dolphin:
We operate Steam as an open platform, but it relies on creators only shipping stuff they have the legal right to distribute. Sometimes third parties raise legal objections to things on Steam, but Valve isn’t in a good position to adjudicate those disputes – the parties have to go to court or negotiate among themselves. An accusation of copyright infringement, for example, can be dealt with under DMCA procedures, but other disputes (such as trademark infringement or a claim for breach of contract between a developer and publisher) do not involve legal dispute resolution procedures, so in these In cases, we will generally stop distributing materials until both parties have notified Valve that they have resolved their dispute.
We don’t want to ship an app that we know can be removed, because that can annoy Steam users. Given Nintendo’s history of taking action against certain emulators, we proactively brought this to their attention after Team Dolphin announced it would soon be available on Steam.
Based on the message we received, there is a clear legal dispute between Nintendo and Team Dolphin, and Valve cannot sit in judgment.
A Nintendo spokesperson previously shared the following statement on the company’s stance on “illegal” emulators and game copies:
Nintendo is committed to protecting the hard work and creativity of video game engineers and developers. This emulator illegally circumvents Nintendo’s security measures and runs illegal copies of games. The use of illegal emulators or illegal copies of games harms development and ultimately stifles innovation. Nintendo respects other companies’ intellectual property rights, and in turn expects others to do the same.
You can get a more detailed summary of events so far in our original story:
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