Back in March, the development team behind the popular Dolphin Emulator for playing older Nintendo games on a PC announced plans to offer it on Valve's Steam service. However, in May, the team announced that the Steam release would be "indefinitely postponed".
Today, the team has put the final nail in this coffin, revealing it has now completely abandoned its plans to release Dolphin Emulator on Steam.
What happened? As it turned out, Nintendo didn't actually send the team or Valve a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to block the software. In a blog post, it stated Valve's lawyers contacted Nintendo's team to inquire about the emulator's Steam release.
In turn, Nintendo sent Valve a request not to publish it. Valve then told the Dolphin Emulator team they would need to chat with Nintendo and get its permission.
The blog added:
So, after a long stay of silence, we have a difficult announcement to make. We are abandoning our efforts to release Dolphin on Steam. Valve ultimately runs the store and can set any condition they wish for software to appear on it. But given Nintendo's long-held stance on emulation, we find Valve's requirement for us to get approval from Nintendo for a Steam release to be impossible. Unfortunately, that's that.
The blog post also talks about the Dolphin Emulator's use of the Wii Common Key to play Wii games. Nintendo's letter to Valve claimed that the use of the key was not authorized by Nintendo.
The blog post states that the emulator's code only uses "an incredibly tiny portion of our code" devoted to circumvention. It added:
Considering that only a small fraction of what we do involves circumvention, we think that the claim that we are "primarily for circumvention" is a reach
The good news is that the emulator is still available for direct download on its website. The team does plan to add some new features that were originally set for the Steam version in future PC releases, including "a full 'Big Picture' GUI that can be used directly with a controller."