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Nintendo Says Tears of the Kingdom Was Pirated 1 Million Times Pre-Release in Lawsuit Against Emulator Creator

Nintendo is suing Tropic Haze, the creators of the popular
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, alleging its tech was used to let over one million copies of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom download illegally a week and a half before its official release.

The suit, which was filed on February 26 in the United States District Court of Rhode Island, alleges that Tropic Haze is liable for unlawful distribution of pirated copies of Tears of the Kingdom before it released on the Switch on May 12 , 2023.

"Today, Yuzu provides any Internet user in the world with the means to unlawfully decrypt and play virtually any Nintendo Switch game — including Nintendo’s current generation and most popular games — without ever paying a dime for a Nintendo console or for that game. And to be clear, there is no lawful way to use Yuzu to play Nintendo Switch games, including because it must decrypt the games’ encryption," the suit reads.

Nintendo is pursuing legal action against Tropic Haze, demanding the creators of the emulator stand trial in front of a jury pay $150,000 in damages paid "with respect to each copyrighted work." Nintendo also elects to receive actual damages as well as any profits Yuzu gained "from its violations."

Nintendo's suit also claims Yuzu's Patreon page allows its developers to earn 30,000 a month by providing subscribers with "daily updates," "early access," and "special unreleased features" to games like Tears of the Kingdom by circumventing the protective measures Nintendo has in place to prevent piracy of video games.

The suit also states Yuzu's website provides detailed instructions on "how to unlawfully acquire" cryptographic keys used to decrypt and play unauthorized copies of Nintendo games through Yuzu. It notes that membership on Yuzu's Patreon "doubled" between May 1 and May 12 and allowed for
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ahead of its release.

This isn't the first time Nintendo sought legal action against an emulator creator. In 2019, Nintendo filed a lawsuit against a ROM-hosting website called RomUniverse for copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement. A lawsuit Nintendo won in 2021 and
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. Prior to Nintendo's multi-million dolllar lawsuit against RomUniverse, the company was
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from Rom hosting sites LoveRETRO and LoveROMS in 2018.

Isaiah Colbert is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow them on Twitter @ShinEyeZehUhh.

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