No one wants to take on Nintendo.
Emulation has been a bit of a gray area with regard to legality. While emulating video game consoles isn’t necessarily illegal, you do run into the illegal territory of ROMs and ripping games online. So we haven’t seen much resistance to emulating consoles most of the time, especially since most of these console emulators are aimed at older generation platforms. In some ways, it’s great to have access to games that would have been lost to time if you couldn’t enjoy them on modern platforms. But we now have emulators that can run Nintendo Switch games, a current platform that Nintendo is actively selling and supporting with new releases.
Nintendo recently made headlines for going after Gary Bowser. This person sold hacked devices for the Nintendo Switch that allowed consumers to play ROMs. That resulted in some huge charges against Gary Bowser, which may be why Skyline is shutting down. Skyline was one of the few Nintendo Switch emulators out there, but this was an emulator that could run on Android. With the various releases that have been released, players may be able to run a number of Nintendo Switch games on devices such as their smartphones or tablets.
Thanks to a notification from Mr. Sunjano, we learn that the Skyline development team had taken to their Discord to reveal that they are ceasing development of Skyline. This is because Nintendo has issued a DMCA takedown notice to Lockpick RCM. Lockpick RCM allows dumping keys from the Nintendo Switch, a process that Skyline requires. While the team claims they were unaware this was potentially problematic as these keys came from their own Nintendo Switch units, they have decided not to take any potential legal action.
It is their fear that Nintendo could soon consider Skyline copyright infringement. So rather than take the risk, the team has chosen to stop developing the emulator, meaning the latest builds released online will be the last of the development team. But that left some players wondering if this could be a trend we’ll see on other Nintendo Switch emulators like Yuzu, which has been popular for the PC platform. Following the example Nintendo made of Gary Bowser, there’s likely to be a bit more hesitation from some teams about whether to continue with future development for Nintendo Switch emulation.