Dolphin Emulator devs abandon Steam launch following legal chats with Valve

Valve reportedly told the Dolphin developers they would have to get Nintendo's approval to release the emulator on Steam, which was likely impossible.


The developers of the Dolphin Emulator made a lot of folks happy when they announced they’d be trying to bring the app to Steam. Unfortunately, it seems that particular avenue of availability was not meant to be. After some legal back and forth between the developers, Valve, and Nintendo, the devs have abandoned their plans to bring Dolphin to Steam.

The Dolphin developers shared the current state of affairs about the emulator and what happened with Steam in a recent blog post. According to the devs, a DMCA was not issued either by Valve or Nintendo. It was a matter of getting approval that sunk the opportunity.

Dolphin Emulator dev's statement graphic on the app coming to Steam.
The Dolphin Emulator coming to Steam caused quite a bit of celebration before things got legal. Unfortunately, the devs have to abandon the move due to Valve's stipulations.
Source: Dolphin Emulator

The developers go on to say that since getting approval from Nintendo would likely be impossible, they decided to abandon the effort to meet Valve’s demands in having Dolphin on Steam. There is some amount of good news for the Dolphin Emulator, though. In the process of dealing with the Steam issue, the Dolphin devs also spoke with a lawyer about legal claims Nintendo was making against the Emulator in its letter to Valve. Simply put, the devs don’t feel their work could be considered law-breaking.

So, it seems a Dolphin release on Steam is dead in the water, but the program itself will not be terminated. It will remain to be seen if Nintendo tries to take further legal action, but the Dolphin team seems highly confident that nothing bad will come of it. Stay tuned as we continue to watch for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola