Wii and Gamecube emulator Dolphin is no longer releasing on Steam

by Danny Craig  · 
Wii and Gamecube emulator Dolphin is no longer releasing on Steam

The team behind the popular Nintendo emulator has announced that the "impossible" release is no longer happening after its store page was removed from Steam before release.

The details:

  • The Dolphin development team confirmed in a new blog update that it would be "abandoning" its plans for a Steam release of the emulator after it was "indefinitely postponed" due to Nintendo's "long-held stance on emulation" making it "impossible" to seek Valve's approval to allow the release to proceed. It confirmed that Nintendo did not issue any DMCA takedown notices, with Valve contacting Nintendo to "prevent Dolphin from releasing on the Steam store, citing the DMCA as justification.”
  • While most argue that emulation is not illegal, legal issues mainly stem from its use of ROMs, which are often obtained illegally, however, Dolphin's use of the Wii Common Key, a cryptographic key used to decrypt Wii games, makes it surprising that no further action has been taken, as it appears that Nintendo could make an argument of some sort. Despite this, the Dolphin team went on to say that it does "not believe that Dolphin is in any legal danger" after consulting with its lawyer, and that "Valve did not make any claims [Dolphin was] violating a US copyright by including the Wii Common Key.”
  • Dolphin will remain available through its official website and GitHub, as it has for nearly two decades, and future releases will include features originally developed for the Steam release, such as a "big picture" mode with a full GUI that can be fully navigated with a controller, and a variety of other quality of life improvements.

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