Last month, Nintendo filed lawsuits (opens in new tab) against two emulator sites, LoveRETRO and LoveROMs, citing their "substantial ill-gotten gains" and pursuing $150,000 for each Nintendo game hosted on the sites as well as up to $2 million for trademark infringement, not to mention the domain names and sources of their Nintendo ROMs. Today, EmuParadise, a longstanding emulation hub around since 2000, announced that it will no longer host ROMs on its site because it is not worth risking the "potentially disastrous consequences."
"Many of you are aware that the situation with regards to emulation sites has been changing recently," site founder MasJ said in a statement. (opens in new tab) "What you probably don't know is that we at EmuParadise have been dealing with similar issues for all 18 years of our existence. From receiving threatening letters in the early days to our hosts suddenly shutting down our servers due to complaints, we've seen it all. We've always complied with takedown requests but as you can see, that is no guarantee of anything."
EmuParadise doesn't explicitly mention Nintendo's lawsuits, and Nintendo is far from the only company to ever come after emulators, but it's no secret that the company's recent lawsuits have put ROMs and the sites that host them in the hot seat. Due to the heightened risk of legal action, EmuParadise says it will no longer offer games on its site.
"It's not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences," MasJ said. "I cannot in good conscience risk the futures of our team members who have contributed to the site through the years. We run EmuParadise for the love of retro games and for you to be able to revisit those good times. Unfortunately, it's not possible right now to do so in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble … We will continue to be passionate retro gamers and will keep doing cool stuff around retro games. But you won't be able to get your games from here for now. Where we go with this is up to us and up to you."
It's unclear how EmuParadise will operate going forward, though MasJ says features like the site's emulator database—just the emulators themselves, not the games—and community forums will stay up as it begins its "new start." It's also unclear whether the site will ever host ROMs again, though I wouldn't bet on it.