Dolphin, a beloved and renowned emulator for Nintendo’s Wii and GameCube consoles, has garnered a dedicated fanbase over the years. The emulator, which allows users to play classic Nintendo games on their PCs, was speculated to make its official debut on the popular gaming platform, Steam. However, to the surprise and disappointment of many fans, Dolphin’s journey to Steam has hit a roadblock, as the emulator’s creators have announced that it won’t be coming to Steam after all.
The Rise of Dolphin Emulator
The Dolphin Emulator, is popular software for playing old Wii and GameCube games, will not be available on Steam. In a recent blog post, the developers explained the reasons behind this decision and why they believe they were in the right legally. It turns out that Nintendo’s lawyers opposed the release on Steam, and Valve did not want to enter into a potential conflict with Nintendo.
Contrary to popular belief, Nintendo did not issue a DMCA takedown notice or any legal action against the Dolphin emulator team. Instead, Valve’s legal department reached out to Nintendo regarding the planned release of the emulator on Steam, which could allow users to play games like Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on their PCs. Nintendo then requested that Valve remove the “coming soon” notice for Dolphin and ensure that the emulator would not be released on Steam without Nintendo’s approval.
It seems that Valve did not want to become involved in the situation and put the responsibility on Dolphin’s developers to obtain permission, even though it was unlikely to be granted. Understanding Nintendo’s history of swift legal action and the tone of their letter, the Dolphin team realized that the Steam release was not feasible and decided to cancel it. However, the Dolphin Emulator is still available for download on Windows, macOS, and Linux from the project’s website. Having it on Steam would have enhanced its credibility and exposed it to a larger audience.
The Dolphin team acknowledged that Valve has the final say in the content allowed on their store and can impose any conditions they see fit. However, due to Nintendo’s strong opposition to emulation, the requirement to obtain approval from Nintendo for a Steam release was deemed impossible. Unfortunately, the Steam release of Dolphin is off the table.