Top Nintendo Switch piracy subreddit banned after 3 years

Bowser's Fury
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The most prominent subreddit devoted to discussions of Nintendo Switch piracy—as well as emulation—was banned on Tuesday, after more than three years on the platform. The community was first created in May 2020, and as of June 10, its latest snapshot on the Wayback Machine, it had accrued more than 69,800 members

In recent weeks the subreddit had grown dramatically and may have become too high-profile for its controversial subject matter: it had just over 37,000 members on May 1, when I reported that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom had leaked onto pirate sites. Over the last month and a half r/NewYuzuPiracy became the de facto home for discussions centered around modding Tears of the Kingdom, at least for players who pirated the game. 

As I wrote before the game's official launch, it was a messy situation for emulation developers, who usually take great care to distance themselves from any public connection to piracy. In addition to openly discussing pirated games, posters on the subreddit would also share "early access" builds of Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu, which are normally locked behind a Patreon subscription unless you know how to compile a build yourself via Github. They also distributed in-development mods from one of the Switch emulator's most prominent modders, causing him to close his Discord server in frustration.

Considering the brazen name, it seems strange that Reddit's banning of r/NewYuzuPiracy has taken this long. According to the message that now appears in place of the subreddit, it was banned "due to a violation of Reddit's content policy against creating or repurposing a sub to reconstitute or serve the same objective as a previously banned or quarantined subreddit."

A replacement may quickly pop up in its wake. The subreddit r/YuzuPiracy was banned on April 21, 2020, just two weeks before r/NewYuzuPiracy was created and grew to dominate search results for Tears of the Kingdom mods. Clearly whatever Reddit's content moderation priorities are, actually banning duplicate subreddits isn't high on the list.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).