This week, the development team behind Switch emulator yuzu added support for online multiplayer. However, a week later, the function has been removed from the emulator – with no reason given by the developers.
We are saddened to report that we have removed online support from yuzu, indefinitely, and effective immediately. We apologize to our community for the confusion and disappointment surrounding this release, and especially to those who were excited to try this feature.
We have received valid and insightful feedback from our fans and members of the broader Switch and emulation communities. Truthfully, we are all just a bunch of enthusiastic people from around the globe, who were genuinely excited about something we thought we could offer. In hindsight, we 100% understand your concerns.
As always, we will continue working on other features and improvements within yuzu, to make it the best emulator we possibly can. Thank you to everyone who has continued to support us, provided us feedback and been open to constructive discussion on this topic. Now, as always, we value your opinions.
As you can see, no reason is given for the move, but Kotaku speculates that it could be down to the heat the emulator’s creators will have gotten for enabling a feature which is less about preservation and homebrew and more about avoiding having to give Nintendo (or its third-party partners) any money for enjoying Switch titles.
However, Kotaku also points out that, because online play was only made available to paying Patreon supporters, yuzu goes from being a freely-distributed piece of code to a paid service – which would place it firmly in the sights of Nintendo’s legal team.
Damien has over a decade of professional writing experience under his belt, as well as a repulsively hairy belly. Rumours that he turned down a role in The Hobbit to work on Nintendo Life are, to the best of our knowledge, completely and utterly unfounded.
The point about preservation makes sense, as a Yuzu user this isn’t an issue to me. Even the best emulators like Dolphin typically have no online outside of netplay. Locking features of emulators behind paywalls is a bit sus though, I’m aware a lot goes into them but that raises all sorts of legal issues.
Good decision though. Though I greatly admire the emu and homebrew community and preservation efforts, there is still a large chunk of people who use that as a facade to pirate games. So you can’t really blame the emu devs for the U-turn and even Nintendo for being aggressive against these efforts.
Abundantly easy to see why they would ditch this. And honestly they should keep their fingers crossed that it’s enough to keep Nintendo from coming after them for any money they may have made in that short amount of time and crushing them into dust even if it is a piddling sum that they brought in. Because even if it wasn’t their aim, this treads dangerously close to the worst kind of piracy possible.
“(…) because online play was only made available to paying Patreon supporters, yuzu goes from being a freely-distributed piece of code to a paid service – which would place it firmly in the sights of Nintendo’s legal team.”
They could just make the feature available for everyone if that was the fear. I doubt they couldn’t afford the increased server capacity when they’re earning (just checked) upwards of 13,000€ a month in Patreon subscriptions.
@Azuris Copyright aside? For the simple fact that it harms a core component of Nintendo’s business. But if we’re talking copyright, even if they did use all their own code, Nintendo could sue them to make them prove it’s their own code, and the cost of that defense alone could ruin them.
@Cosats I agree they are so two faced, they will talk of their support for games developers and how much love they have for the likes of playtonic. Such stupid logic from seemingly intelligent people.
@Cosats Yeah and that’s super awesome, sue me. I emulated No More Heroes 2 because you can only buy it pre-owned anyway, no money goes to the devs. Then I bought it when it came out on Switch. But sure, get worked up about the morality of it.
FWIW they aren’t even supporting it, just reporting on it non-judgmentally.
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World news – GB – Switch Emulator Adds Online Support, Then Loses It Double-Quick In Embarrassing U-Turn