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"Tears of the Kingdom" was illegally downloaded 1 million times before launch. [UP: TH settles. Ceases all emulator dev and pays Nintendo $2.4M]

Joseki

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Nintendo of America just filed a lawsuit against Yuzu (Switch emulator) creators Tropic Haze.

In the document it's revealed The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom was illegally downloaded 1 million times before the launch of the game.

As to piracy, for instance, one recent major Nintendo video game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, was unlawfully distributed a week and a half before its release by Nintendo. Infringing copies of the game that circulated online were able to be played in Yuzu, and those copies were successfully downloaded from pirate websites over one million times before the game was published and made available for lawful purchase by Nintendo.

Why is Nintendo suing:

Yuzu unlawfully circumvents the technological measures on Nintendo Switch games and allows for the play of encrypted Nintendo Switch games on devices other than a Nintendo Switch. Yuzu does this by executing code necessary to defeat Nintendo’s many technological measures associated with its games, including code that decrypts the Nintendo Switch video game files immediately before and during runtime using an illegally-obtained copy of prod.keys (that ordinarily are secured on the Nintendo Switch). Users obtain the prod.keys either through unlawful websites or by unlawfully hacking a Nintendo Switch console. The lead developer of Yuzu—known online under the alias “Bunnei”—has publicly acknowledged most users pirate prod.keys and games online, and Yuzu’s website provides instructions for its users telling them how to unlawfully hack their own Nintendo Switch and how to make unauthorized copies of Nintendo games and unlawfully obtain prod.keys. Only because Yuzu decrypts a Nintendo Switch game file dynamically during operation can the game be played in Yuzu. In other words, without Yuzu’s decryption of Nintendo’s encryption, unauthorized copies of games could not be played on PCs or Android devices.

To get any game off a Nintendo Switch console and into the Yuzu environment to be played, therefore, Bunnei and other of Defendant’s agents must: (1) obtain the Nintendo Switch’s cryptographic keys (the prod.keys) from a hacked console, which violates Nintendo’s rights under the DMCA; and (2) make at least one unauthorized copy of a Nintendo Switch game, which, when the copied game is Nintendo’s, violates Plaintiff’s right of reproduction under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 106, 501, entitling Plaintiff to the relief sought herein.

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Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, emulators on principle are a nice thing to have but I've always felt pretty iffy about emulators for currently on the market hardware and software. We'll see how this goes, coming down on emulators has failed several times in the past.
 
They don't have any case here, right? Don't see how Yuzu's at fault, they're not the ones distributing the pirated copies and can't control how the emulator's used. Maybe Nintendo should sue themselves for making hardware that can be hacked and used to pirate Nintendo games.
 
Nintendo will beat emulators when they finally port their games to PC (see yall in 20 years), until then theyll keep battling them. The arguments in this lawsuit are a joke, would unironically be terrible news if they won and set that precedent.
 
They don't have any case here, right? Don't see how Yuzu's at fault, they're not the ones distributing the pirated copies and can't control how the emulator's used. Maybe Nintendo should sue themselves for making hardware that can be hacked and used to pirate Nintendo games.

This isn't a lawsuit on emulators, it's a lawsuit on Yuzu specifically in how it was used and how money changed hands in its usage.

If Nintendo's making this move, they almost certainly believe they have a rock-solid case.
 
If Nintendo's making this move, they almost certainly believe they have a rock-solid case.
Yeah it’s important to remember this. They still might lose, but these aren’t the same arguments from decades ago and it’s disrupting the status quo. If they lose, emulation is out of the bag but if they win they’ll pretty much kill any emulation from being at the forefront.

Chances are based on the dolphin steam incident, Nintendo feels the status quo can’t be maintained due to emulators pushing boundaries.
 
This isn't a lawsuit on emulators, it's a lawsuit on Yuzu specifically in how it was used and how money changed hands in its usage.

If Nintendo's making this move, they almost certainly believe they have a rock-solid case.
It seems weak. They are claiming thats illegal to have decrypted Nintendos encryption, and it isnt. Theyre also claiming instructing users how to hack their own switch so they can get keys is illegal, when it isnt. Money changing hands is through a Patreon about the emulator software on its own, Yuzu is uninvolved with TotKs downloads.

Unless im missing something I would think they are just trying to squeeze out the Yuzu team through legal fees.
 
Nintendo is not suing the "emulator" in the general sense, they are suing this specifically:
If the users provide the keys themselves, I still don't see how they have a case, unless this dynamic decryption makes use of some proprietary or stolen method in addition to the user supplied keys.
This isn't a lawsuit on emulators, it's a lawsuit on Yuzu specifically in how it was used and how money changed hands in its usage.

If Nintendo's making this move, they almost certainly believe they have a rock-solid case.
If there's money changing hands, then it might be a bit murkier of a case. I'm not familiar with this emulator and how it works/how the organization behind it works to know what goes on there and whether it gives more merit to a case that at first sight seems unlikely to succeed.
 
DMCA would like to have a word. DRM bypassing is not necessarily legal without exemptions.
Thats about distribution of the hacked technology. Hacking something and reverse engineering it to create your own software can be illegal, but its not what theyre suing them for anyway.
 
If the users provide the keys themselves, I still don't see how they have a case
Agreed. Yuzu doesn't distribute decryption keys that enable the use of Nintendo Switch software. Those files need to be acquired from a legitimate Nintendo Switch. Unless there's an official build floating around that completely bypasses this requirement, Nintendo doesn't have a leg to stand on.
 
One thing Nintendo must do with Switch 2 is to get the security running much better, you can't end up in a situation where you have active emulators early in a system's lifespan, that is something that should only be possible when the system is outdated.

With the handheld market becoming more competitive than ever there comes a point where securing your system from emulation is more and more vital. Having Nintendo first party games solely on Switch 2 will make it even more impossible for things like Steam deck 2 to take noticable market shares from Nintendo.
 
Thats about distribution of the hacked technology. Hacking something and reverse engineering it to create your own software can be illegal, but its not what theyre suing them for anyway.
They are being sued because Nintendo says Yuzu circumvents encryption, saying they violate DMCA.

One thing Nintendo must do with Switch 2 is to get the security running much better, you can't end up in a situation where you have active emulators early in a system's lifespan, that is something that should only be possible when the system is outdated.

With the handheld market becoming more competitive than ever there comes a point where securing your system from emulation is more and more vital. Having Nintendo first party games solely on Switch 2 will make it even more impossible for things like Steam deck 2 to take noticable market shares from Nintendo.
Nintendo’s security was fine, it was a nvidia issue specifically. And frankly right now there isn’t much competition for hybrids. Steam Deck did worse compared to the switch then vita compared to 3DS. No worries on that end.
 
Yeah it’s important to remember this. They still might lose, but these aren’t the same arguments from decades ago and it’s disrupting the status quo. If they lose, emulation is out of the bag but if they win they’ll pretty much kill any emulation from being at the forefront.

Chances are based on the dolphin steam incident, Nintendo feels the status quo can’t be maintained due to emulators pushing boundaries.
Of course emulators are a huge threat to Nintendo in the future, for almost the entire Switch era people have uploaded videos all the time about how Nintendo games play much better on emulators for free. People are living in denial if they think an era where PC gaming only takes more and more market share from consoles if that sort of stuff eventually won't lead to a decline of Nintendo software and hardware sales. And these emulators even emulate Nintendo games before official release, so they are both free, play better and you get games earlier if you play emulated Nintendo games. That could lead to disaster for Nintendo if it continues with coming Nintendo consoles.

I would argue that emulation is more likely to kill off Nintendo as a hardware maker in the future than Sony and Microsoft are put together.
 
This isn't a lawsuit on emulators, it's a lawsuit on Yuzu specifically in how it was used and how money changed hands in its usage.

If Nintendo's making this move, they almost certainly believe they have a rock-solid case.

Do they believe that? Corporations/ love frivolous suits driven by ideology, to financially destroy or to stall things they don't like.
 
They are being sued because Nintendo says Yuzu circumvents encryption, saying they violate DMCA.
DMCA is about the distribution of content protected by DRM. Yuzu isnt distributing any of that. Nintendo is asserting that decrypting Nintendos encryption on your own is illegal, and it really isnt.
One thing Nintendo must do with Switch 2 is to get the security running much better, you can't end up in a situation where you have active emulators early in a system's lifespan, that is something that should only be possible when the system is outdated.

With the handheld market becoming more competitive than ever there comes a point where securing your system from emulation is more and more vital. Having Nintendo first party games solely on Switch 2 will make it even more impossible for things like Steam deck 2 to take noticable market shares from Nintendo.
I think theres too much demand for Nintendo emulators, even with top tier security, I would think a Switch 2 emulator is gonna get made before the next console.
 
Remember kids, just because a lawsuit SAYS that something is "unlawful" doesn't actually make it so. This lawsuit seems to me to just be intimidation tactics, ie: we have more money than you so you'll never be able to fight this.
 
Good, they need to be completely destroyed. It's a dirty scene and it's not just a few people anymore, it's a big deal and it's time to take action towards it.
 
Remember kids, just because a lawsuit SAYS that something is "unlawful" doesn't actually make it so. This lawsuit seems to me to just be intimidation tactics, ie: we have more money than you so you'll never be able to fight this.

Also remember to never trust legal advices from random users on the internet.
 
Do they believe that? Corporations/ love frivolous suits driven by ideology, to financially destroy or to stall things they don't like.
If they were doing a frivolous suit, they would have done it shortly after Tears of the Kingdom. The fact that this is nearly a year after TotK means they put a lot of research that would at least prevent it from being thrown out. Nintendo tends to only do lawsuits that they would win too
 
Good, they need to be completely destroyed. It's a dirty scene and it's not just a few people anymore, it's a big deal and it's time to take action towards it.
I don't understand how people think the gaming market which is already at its deathbed today can survive if stuff like emulation becomes more widespread. The gaming market can't even survive today with millions of software sales, take those sales away and console and PC gaming is over because no studio survives.
 
DMCA is about the distribution of content protected by DRM. Yuzu isnt distributing any of that. Nintendo is asserting that decrypting Nintendos encryption on your own is illegal, and it really isnt.
Nope. Even a simple Wikipedia search would tell you it’s “It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM)”

If it was just distribution of stuff protected by DRM, right to repair wouldn’t need exemptions.
 
I don't understand how people think the gaming market which is already at its deathbed today can survive if stuff like emulation becomes more widespread. The gaming market can't even survive today with millions of software sales, take those sales away and console and PC gaming is over because no studio survives.
Emulation will never become widespread. Its been piss easy for like the past 15 years and if anything I see less emulation in general. How much anyone is willing to emulate something depends on their tech literacy. The amount of people willing to go through the trouble isnt very high.
Nope. Even a simple Wikipedia search would tell you it’s “It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works (commonly known as digital rights management or DRM)”
So... production and distribution of copyrighted works? Im really not getting the difference.
 
So... production and distribution of copyrighted works? Im really not getting the difference.
It specifically bars the act of bypassing the drm (ignoring exemptions), not just disturbing that which is protected by it. Hence why it says “intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works” and not just “that provide works protected by drm”

Again, right to repair wouldn’t need exemptions if it was about just distributing software illegally.
 
And yet a million copies of ToTK were illegally downloaded even before the game was launched.
Exactly, and that is now. Imagine in 5 years where millions more have transitioned to a high end PC capable of emulating consoles such as Switch/Switch 2. The more people with a high end PC the more emulation. The next Zelda game could be downloaded 5 million times before official release. That is not sustainable at all.
 
Emulation scene was really huge during PS1 and PS2 days, some of you really have no idea if you think it becomes more widespread for new systems generation after generation or that it will kill gaming.
 
It specifically bars the act of bypassing the drm (ignoring exemptions), not just disturbing that which is protected by it. Hence why it says “intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works” and not just “that provide works protected by drm”

Again, right to repair wouldn’t need exemptions if it was about just distributing software illegally.
Ahh thanks I get where youre coming from now. Seems like Yuzu is protecting itself by not including the prod keys though. Those are needed to break encryption and they arent included in the download.
 
I don't understand how people think the gaming market which is already at its deathbed today can survive if stuff like emulation becomes more widespread. The gaming market can't even survive today with millions of software sales, take those sales away and console and PC gaming is over because no studio survives.
It's especially a problem with indie games. I see Balatro being spread around a lot now. Also, Banishers has gotten shafted by piracy lately. And to those devs, thousands of sales matter.

I think devs formed opinions that it's not a critical problem at some point, but underestimate how big this scene has gotten and how crooked people are. If this one million number of TOTK is correct, it should set off some alarm bells.
 
On one hand I love emulation and how it contributes to game preservation and personal comfort. On the other hand: Let's not act like most people don't just download ROMs from the internet, which is 100% illegal and piracy. The number of people actually drawing ROM-files from physical games they bought must be miniscule.

Whether that is the Yuzu-guys' fault or not remains to be seen, but I can find sympathy with Nintendo here at least for a bit. Hopefully, this ends in a way that's sensible for everyone. Fwiw, Nintendo also shouldn't have waited with suing until their Switch 2-device was nearing launch, with its fancy DLSS-upscale technology that will do what, basically, Yuzu does, lol.
 
Exactly, and that is now. Imagine in 5 years where millions more have transitioned to a high end PC capable of emulating consoles such as Switch/Switch 2. The more people with a high end PC the more emulation. The next Zelda game could be downloaded 5 million times before official release. That is not sustainable at all.
I feel like you don't understand the PC market. While there's a decent chance most PCs will be capable of emulating the Switch with ease in a couple years given how developed Switch emulation is, the Switch 2 isn't going to be the same. If that were true, we'd have a PS4 emulator by this point capable of running a commercial game now. It isn't like Nintendo is naturally prone to emulation. As was stated earlier, the Switch's original Tegra chip had security flaws that opened up analysis to reach higher levels of emulation.
 
It's especially a problem with indie games. I see Balatro being spread around a lot now. Also, Banishers has gotten shafted by piracy lately. And to those devs, thousands of sales matter.

I think devs formed opinions that it's not a critical problem at some point, but underestimate how big this scene has gotten and how crooked people are. If this one million number of TOTK is correct, it should set off some alarm bells.
The economics of piracy are complex. Its hard to say how many of those 1m people wouldve actually bought the game if you took away their ability to pirate, but its certainly not all of them. Other games have also reported seeing pirates talk and play about the game result in more sales.

At the same time its probably not gone off the rails because there is some effort to keep it in check like DRM, online only games, etc.
 
On one hand I love emulation and how it contributes to game preservation and personal comfort. On the other hand: Let's not act like most people don't just download ROMs from the internet, which is 100% illegal and piracy. The number of people actually drawing ROM-files from physical games they bought must be miniscule.

Whether that is the Yuzu-guys' fault or not remains to be seen, but I can find sympathy with Nintendo here at least for a bit. Hopefully, this ends in a way that's sensible for everyone. Fwiw, Nintendo also shouldn't have waited with suing until their Switch 2-device was nearing launch, with its fancy DLSS-upscale technology that will do what, basically, Yuzu does, lol.

This is a pet peeve of mines, but emulation isn't about preservation the majority of the time, but accessibility. No one seriously believes you're emulating SMB or Tears of the Kingdom for preservation reasons. Especially a company like Nintendo who kept the source code for Trials of Mana when Square lost them.

Honestly, people only started to talk about preservation to give a justification for emulation when the bottom line is, people want to play certain games either on something other than the console it launched on or because they're pirates. If preservation was really the main focus, we would be seeing more Saturn games or Alter being saved from the dust piles of history.
 
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Do they believe that? Corporations/ love frivolous suits driven by ideology, to financially destroy or to stall things they don't like.

Nintendo doesn't generally do throw away suits. If they are doing this, they have carefully studied the field and, likely, have a lot of receipts to put it plainly.
 
On one hand I love emulation and how it contributes to game preservation and personal comfort. On the other hand: Let's not act like most people don't just download ROMs from the internet, which is 100% illegal and piracy. The number of people actually drawing ROM-files from physical games they bought must be miniscule.

is it? in the context of snes games and earlier, maybe also n64 etc i'm pretty dubious those should be protected at all. iirc one of copyright or trademark expires after 17 years and then its fair game. This is why generic drugs come to be, and thats fantastic. It's also why knockoff NES hardware etc became legal at some point. i like that idea, but i'm sure it's being stomped out if it hasnt already.

I find thinking downloading SNES/16 bit era and below ROM's, whether you own them or not, as illegal is pretty dubious to my moral compass. They're old, very little value is truthfully obtained from them anymore. leave it be. And that said, while I have downloaded romsets, I notice I honestly rarely play anything I didn't own (often multiple different times! IE Tetris, SF2, pac man etc) at some point in my life as well, which I bet is basically the same for everybody. And if I boot up some weird game that i literally never heard of, and LITERALLY noone will ever buy or sell again, for 5 minutes, again, there is no conceivable harm in that.

but i know the trend is going to be lock more stuff up forever and ever for the corporations just in case they one day want to use it...not less...

that said i get switch emulation could become a pretty big problem.
 
I do not believe so.
For years Yuzu have made it possible to illegally download Nintendo games before release, for years people have used Yuzu to spread videos about how no one should buy Nintendo games because you can play them for free on a PC with better quality. Yuzu is trying to end Nintendo but Nintendo will end them instead.

And Yuzu and those behind it are doing it all for cash, they pocket incredible amounts of cash directly from Nintendo's pockets.
 
is it? in the context of snes games and earlier, maybe also n64 etc i'm pretty dubious those should be protected at all. iirc one of copyright or trademark expires after 17 years and then its fair game. This is why generic drugs come to be, and thats fantastic. It's also why knockoff NES hardware etc became legal at some point. i like that idea, but i'm sure it's being stomped out if it hasnt already.

I find thinking downloading SNES/16 bit era and below ROM's, whether you own them or not, as illegal is pretty dubious to my moral compass. They're old, very little value is truthfully obtained from them anymore. leave it be. And that said, while I have downloaded romsets, I notice I honestly rarely play anything I didn't own (often multiple different times! IE Tetris, SF2, pac man etc) at some point in my life as well, which I bet is basically the same for everybody.

but i know the trend is going to be lock more stuff up forever and ever for the corporations just in case they one day want to use it...not less...

that said i get switch emulation could become a pretty big problem.
?

Obviously I was talking about Switch emulation.
 
For years Yuzu have made it possible to illegally download Nintendo games before release, for years people have used Yuzu to spread videos about how no one should buy Nintendo games because you can play them for free on a PC with better quality. Yuzu is trying to end Nintendo but Nintendo will end them instead.
Yuzu didnt make it possible to illegally play Nintendo games before release, the guy who stole a cartridge, dumped it, and spread it through rom sites did. Yuzu didnt make those videos, users did.

Yuzu is trying to end Nintendo...? Lmfao
 
Based on the documents, it seems they've been building this case for the entirety of the Switch's life and have multiple screenshots off the Yuzu patreon page showing them discussing having multiple games running in the emulator before the official release.

The question becomes how are the Yuzu devs getting early access to these games to tweak their emulator? Nintendo seems to be claiming that they're breaking switch security to (like getting around the pre-load lock) play early. Now obviously they're probably just playing dumped roms from leaked retail copies but can Yuzu prove that's where they got access from? Do they have to? I'd imagine the burden of proof is on Nintendo but I suppose it depends?

Stuff like Valve showing Yuzu in an official video or multiple video games news sites openly talking about how the games are running on the emulator before release don't help either even if Yuzu is not responsible for any of this.

We'll have to see how it goes but I think the intended result is probably to try and bankrupt or scare them before they get the chance to start working on a Switch 2 emulator.
 
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The economics of piracy are complex. Its hard to say how many of those 1m people wouldve actually bought the game if you took away their ability to pirate, but its certainly not all of them. Other games have also reported seeing pirates talk and play about the game result in more sales.

At the same time its probably not gone off the rails because there is some effort to keep it in check like DRM, online only games, etc.
It depends on the game, you have to take it case by case. Some games might get publicity and sales from it, and some will get hurt by it. We don't have the information to deduce the real situation.

I knew tons of people who pirated TOTK, so that certainly took a significant hit, even if not all one million would buy it. And that version was apparently terrible with bugs and framerate issues, yet it still reached those numbers.

From the places I follow, I notice when games become popular to pirate. I think Alan Wake II and Armoured Core VI were hurt badly by it. I would not be surprised if both of those games saw piracy in the hundreds of thousands.
 
I agree with what I read on ResetEra that this is more of a warning shot to stay away from emulating the Switch successor. Even if Nintendo is going against legal precedent (which they fully are), court and lawyers aren't cheap and not something that any small group of people working wants to get involved with.
 
They hardly have a case here, this is mostly to try and strangle the company financially due to legal fees. I wonder if it'll end up on the team getting massive support through their Patreon due to expenses the lawsuit, which would be really funny.

But in all cases, I hope yuzu stays afloat as playing TOTK on it at 4K60fps was transformative. It also managed to make Scarlet/Violet playable to me after buying it at launch and just absolutely hating how it looked on my Switch.
 
They hardly have a case here, this is mostly to try and strangle the company financially due to legal fees. I wonder if it'll end up on the team getting massive support through their Patreon due to expenses the lawsuit, which would be really funny.

But in all cases, I hope yuzu stays afloat as playing TOTK on it at 4K60fps was transformative. It also managed to make Scarlet/Violet playable to me after buying it at launch and just absolutely hating how it looked on my Switch.
Good that Nintendo is trying to stop it, because as you have said with your own words emulation and piracy will in the end lead to Nintendo dying as a gaming company, because if people can they will play their games for free leading them to leave the industry in the future.

I agree with what I read on ResetEra that this is more of a warning shot to stay away from emulating the Switch successor. Even if Nintendo is going against legal precedent (which they fully are), court and lawyers aren't cheap and not something that any small group of people working wants to get involved with.
Its so weird how unprotected gaming companies are, how could they not be in legal rights to protect their own software sales? How can people have full legal rights to play their games for free? The law seems designed to make the gaming industry go under, because today its basically charity to pay for a game today when you can play it for free if you want to with no legal issues at all.

The growth of piracy and emulation should naturally also lead to a change in the law, becasuse otherwise companies like Nintendo will not survive the coming years and decades.
 
Its so weird how unprotected gaming companies are, how could they not be in legal rights to protect their own software sales? How can people have full legal rights to play their games for free? The law seems designed to make the gaming industry go under, because today its basically charity to pay for a game today when you can play it for free if you want to with no legal issues at all.

The growth of piracy and emulation should naturally also lead to a change in the law, becasuse otherwise companies like Nintendo will not survive the coming years and decades.

What are you even talking about? Playing pirated copies of games is entirely illegal.

What is legal is having the right to do whatever you want with the hardware and software you bought. If you bought a game like say Pokemon Scarlet and want to dump it to your PC in order to play it in an actual decent state that's your positive to do so.

Also, thinking a company like Nintendo will go under due to emulation (legal or not) is quite frankly detached from reality.
 
Good that Nintendo is trying to stop it, because as you have said with your own words emulation and piracy will in the end lead to Nintendo dying as a gaming company, because if people can they will play their games for free leading them to leave the industry in the future.
Its so weird how unprotected gaming companies are, how could they not be in legal rights to protect their own software sales? How can people have full legal rights to play their games for free? The law seems designed to make the gaming industry go under, because today its basically charity to pay for a game today when you can play it for free if you want to with no legal issues at all.

The growth of piracy and emulation should naturally also lead to a change in the law, becasuse otherwise companies like Nintendo will not survive the coming years and decades.
These posts are both nonsense
 
What are you even talking about? Playing pirated copies of games is entirely illegal.

What is legal is having the right to do whatever you want with the hardware and software you bought. If you bought a game like say Pokemon Scarlet and want to dump it to your PC in order to play it in an actual decent state that's your positive to do so.

Also, thinking a company like Nintendo will go under due to emulation (legal or not) is quite frankly detached from reality.
But everyone who uses emulation use it to play games for free, that is the whole purpose behind the emulation. Its whole purpose is to see that the companies who made the games like Nintendo get nothing from it. So with the growth of emulation comes the natural end of companies like Nintendo, if nothing changes regarding emulation and its lawful status.

1 million played Tears of the Kingdom for free, in 5 years that will be 5 million played the next Zelda for free, and that number will increasy every year.
 
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