Nintendo Cracks Down on Game Emulators and Tools Used for Piracy
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to release for the Nintendo Switch on May 12th, but physical copies of the game have already found their way into the hands of eager players. Some players have even managed to get the game running on emulators such as Yuzu and Ryujinx. Nintendo appears to be somewhat dissatisfied with this situation and has focused on emulators and tools that facilitate game emulation.
A developer who has maintained a variant of the software Lockpick on Github revealed via Twitter that Nintendo is using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to remove the software and about 80 variants from the developer service. The software is primarily used to extract encrypted keys from games that you already own on your Nintendo Switch, which according to Nintendo can lead to piracy.
As a result of Nintendo’s attack on the Lockpick variants, the popular developers behind the Switch emulator Skyline have thrown in the towel. The emulator was available on Android via the Google Play Store, but the developers announced on their Discord channel that it is too risky to continue after the Lockpick variants have been stopped by Nintendo. The developers wrote that they simply did not consider the use of Lockpick or similar software to be a problem because it made it possible to play games that you already own on the Nintendo Switch on other devices.
Nintendo has not commented on why the company is cracking down on Lockpick right now. The software has been under development and available in various variants since 2019, and it is currently unknown whether the software or its variants will continue to be available in the future.