Dolphin Emulator Steam Release Canceled

The developers behind the Dolphin Emulator have just released a new blog post detailing what would be happening to the previously teased Steam release, after being delisted back in May 2023. Back then, it was believed that the reason for that was due to a DMCA by Nintendo, but after consulting with a lawyer, the team explained in detail what exactly happened.

The blog post is long, but keeping it short, Valve had contacted the legal team at Nintendo of America, who in turn, said that they should not let the team release the emulator, with the DMCA being cited as a claim. The team at Valve then told that if the team wanted the emulator on the storefront, they would have to settle on an agreement with Nintendo. This caused the team to panic a bit at first, but after getting proper legal consultation, they understood the situation and ultimately decided to abandon their efforts:

“We are abandoning our efforts to release Dolphin on Steam. Valve ultimately runs the store and can set any condition they wish for software to appear on it. But given Nintendo’s long-held stance on emulation, we find Valve’s requirement for us to get approval from Nintendo for a Steam release to be impossible. Unfortunately, that’s that.”

That being said, the team also stated that any features and quality of life improvements that were being developed for Steam will be rolled out as updates on the regular version of Dolphin:

“As a silver lining, some of the features being developed for the Steam release will still work in Dolphin’s normal builds, and are still being developed. One of the features we are most excited for is a full “Big Picture” GUI that can be used directly with a controller. That is still going to happen regardless of a Steam release, alongside several smaller features that were meant to be quality of life improvements for Steam builds.”

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