The gaming community receives very bad news for the preservation of video games.
The retro world largely relies on emulation. Dolphin is perhaps the most important emulator at the moment. However, although it seemed that it would finally arrive officially in a digital PC storefront – we’re talking about Steam – it will not.
Despite the support previously received by Valve, the American company has closed the doors to Dolphin on Steam (with Nintendo playing a supporting role). That’s why the Dolphin team speaks about it.
A step back for emulation
Emulation is always associated with piracy. To some extent, this is true, especially with the most recent consoles on the market. However, the main focus behind the companies has always been the same: the preservation of video games.
Nowadays, big companies like Sega with the Genesis Mini 2 or Nintendo with the NES Classic try to preserve video games and bring them up to date. Beyond that, emulation goes one step further. Thus, companies like Retroarch and Dolphin really manage to preserve titles from different consoles and platforms.
And behind this was Valve. Dolphin had the support of the company. They were even planning to release the emulator this year on Steam. But, from one moment to another, Dolphin will no longer come to Steam.
Why won’t it come to Steam?
Dolphin is an emulator dedicated to different Nintendo consoles: the GameCube, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo Wii U. Although a possible implementation to emulate Switch games was planned, this is not possible.
Although, as the Dolphin team says, Nintendo did not file a DMCA complaint. The team comments that Nintendo agrees with the preservation of video games but strictly on their own terms. The Big N was not on the same page with Dolphin, and their lawyers asked Valve to not release Dolphin on Steam.
Seeing this, Valve contacted the Dolphin team. To watch their backs, Valve told Dolphin that for the inclusion of the emulator on Steam, they had to have Nintendo’s approval. That approval is not going to come, of course.
As it happened with Dark and Darker in its day, when looking for Dolphin in the Steam search engine, you will not find it. Even so, all is not lost. Dolphin is still available outside of Steam.
Let’s hope that, for the sake of emulation, this will be solved. In the meantime, gamers can opt to use Dolphin from their official website.