Tropic Haze, the developer of the popular Yuzu Nintendo Switch emulator, appears to have agreed to settle Nintendo’s lawsuit against it. Less than a week after Nintendo filed a lawsuit accusing the emulator’s creators of “piracy on a colossal scale,” a joint final judgment and permanent injunction filed Tuesday says Tropic Haze has agreed to pay the Mario 2 maker .4 million dollars, along with a long list of concessions.

Nintendo’s lawsuit alleges that Tropic Haze violated the circumvention and trafficking provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). “Without Yuzu decrypting Nintendo’s encryption, unauthorized copies of games cannot be played on PCs or Android devices,” the company wrote in its complaint. He describes Yuzu as “software designed primarily to circumvent technological measures.”

Yuzu launched in 2018 as free and open source software for Windows, Linux and Android. It can run countless copyrighted Switch games – including console vendors like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The tears of the kingdom, Super Mario Odyssey and Super Mario Miracle. Reddit threads comparing Switch emulators praised Yuzu’s performance compared to competitors like Ryujinx. The Yuzu introduces different bugs in different titles, but it can generally handle games at higher resolutions than the Switch, often at better framerates, as long as your hardware is powerful enough.

A screenshot from Yuzu's emulator website showing a photo from Zelda: Breath of the Wild with a blueprint-style sketch of the Nintendo Switch framing it.  Dark gray background.

A screenshot from the Yuzu website showing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Tropic Haze / Nintendo)

As part of Annex A attached to the proposals joint arrangement, Tropic Haze has agreed to a series of placements. In addition to paying Nintendo $2.4 million, she must permanently refrain from “engaging in activities related to the offering, marketing, distribution, or traffic of Yuzu emulator or other similar software that circumvents Nintendo’s technical security measures.”

Tropic Haze must also delete all Nintendo bypasses, tools, and cryptographic keys used in the emulator, and surrender all Nintendo bypasses and modified hardware. It should even hand over the emulator’s web domain (including any variants or successors) to Nintendo. (The website is still live at this time, perhaps pending the final resolution of the decision.) Failure to comply with the terms of the settlement could subject Tropic Haze to contempt of court, including criminal, injunctive, and monetary actions.

While piracy is the main motivation for many emulator users, the software can double as a crucial tool for saving video games – making a quick legal transfer like Tropic Haze potentially problematic. Without emulators, Nintendo and other copyright holders could make games obsolete for future generations, as older hardware eventually becomes harder to find.

Nintendo’s legal team is of course no stranger to aggressive enforcement of copyrighted material. In recent years, the company has gone after Switch pirate websites, sued ROM-sharing website RomUniverse for $2 million, and helped send hacker Gary Bowser to prison. Although this was Valve’s doing, Nintendo’s reputation indirectly led to the Dolphin Wii and GameCube emulator being blocked from Steam. It’s safe to say that Mario’s creator doesn’t share the views of conservationists about the crucial historical role that emulators can play.

Despite the settlement, it seems unlikely that open-source Yuzu will disappear entirely. The emulator is still available on GitHub, where its entire codebase can be found.