Popular Android emulator for Nintendo Switch games shuts down

Skyline's source of game keys, Lockpick, was served a DMCA order by Nintendo

Nintendo Switch

Skyline was an emulator that allowed players to enjoy Nintendo Switch games on their Android phones. It announced on Saturday that it was shutting down due to a DMCA order against Lockpick RCM.

Lockpick is how Skyline was able to legally acquire keys for Nintendo Switch games. Without it, Skyline said “the risks associated with a potential legal case are too high for [it] to ignore.” It asserted that it “fully believed that dumping keys was legal prior to this notice.”

The order to GitHub states that Lockpick “offers and provides access to circumvention software that infringes Nintendo’s intellectual property rights” because it makes possible “unauthorized access to, extraction of, and decryption of” Nintendo’s games.

Gamers have been enjoying old games with emulators for as long as there have been old games to play. For example, one hacker was able to get an emulator of the original Xbox running on their Switch.

However, Nintendo is famously protective of its copyrights. Canadian hacker Gary Bowser spent almost two years incarcerated for fraud because he made custom chips that allowed his customers to play pirated games. He was released in April.

Some fans have speculated that the takedown of Lockpick was timed to protect sales of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which releases on Friday.

In the announcement Skyline made on Discord, it thanked its community for their support over the years.

Skyline can run AAA Nintendo games on Android, though the quality was limited. Not long after its launch, a YouTuber was able to run Super Mario Odyssey on Skyline at 9 frames per second. Six months ago, a Reddit user showed that their phone could handle Breath of the Wild on it at 30 frames per second.

Skyline confirmed that its repository and builds will stay up in read-only form, and its incomplete source code will be made publically available.

Sources: Mishaal Rahman Via: Android Police