In case you hadn’t caught up: the Dolphin emulator was set to launch on Steam, but was removed shortly thereafter due to a DMCA complaint.

But now we have some more insight into the whole story from the emails that supposedly have been sent between Valve and the big N. Notice this part of the email from Nintendo’s lawyers:

Thank you for bringing the announced offering of the Dolphin emulator on Valve’s Steam store to Nintendo’s attention.

Email from Nintendo’s lawyer to Valve, page 2

So, evidently Valve informed Nintendo that Dolphin was coming to Steam. Further testimony of this is confirmed when Valve’s Kaci Aitchison reported to The Verge “we brought this to [Nintendo’s] attention proactively after the Dolphin team announced it was coming soon to Steam.” The reason for this? Aitchison continues:

We operate Steam as an open platform, but that relies on creators shipping only things they have the legal right to distribute. Sometimes third parties raise legal objections to things on Steam, but Valve isn’t well positioned to judge those disputes – the parties have to go to court, or negotiate between themselves. An accusation of copyright infringement, for example, can be handled under the DMCA process, but other disputes (like trademark infringement or a breach of contract claim between a developer and a publisher) don’t have a statutory dispute resolution process, so in these cases we generally will cease distributing the material until the parties tell Valve that they have resolved their dispute.

Valve would follow up with an email to Pierre Bourdon, the former Dolphin Foundation treasurer, and mentioned “we have removed Dolphin Emulator from STEAM unless and until both parties notify us that the dispute is resolved.”

Email from Valve to Dolphin dev

The Dolphin team did confirm to The Verge that the emulator indeed ships with a common cryptographic key, and because of this, the big N may have the upper hand if this were to ever go to court.

So, unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Dolphin will be showing up on Steam any time soon – if at all.