For nearly two decades, EmuParadise has been the go-to place for quite a number of people in the emulation community. This is due to the site’s vast collection of ROMs and ISOs from many systems, dating all the way back from the Atari and NES eras, straight up to the Wii and PSP. But, things are different now.
The site’s creator recently put out an announcement on the website, titled “EmuParadise is Changing”. This announcement contained an explanation — the site will no longer host any games. Here’s an excerpt:
“It’s not worth it for us to risk potentially disastrous consequences. 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 . . . . . 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.”
This news comes just a few weeks after Nintendo slapped a massive $100 million lawsuit against the owner of LoveROMS and LoveRETRO. These websites were very similar to EmuParadise, hosting a vast collection of retro games and emulators. Mere hours after the lawsuit was filed, both websites were taken offline. Interestingly enough, many responses from the community to the closure of these sites pointed to EmuParadise still being around as another trustworthy source of games. Obviously, that claim no longer applies. In addition to the fall of LoveROMS and LoveRETRO, Nintendo then had an online GameBoy Advance Emulator removed from GitHub.
It must be noted that EmuParadise’s announcement does not specifically denounce Nintendo as being a/the reason for the removal of all the games from the site, But, it has had run-ins with the Big N in the past. Back in June 2017, all of Nintendo’s first-party titles were taken down from EmuParadise’s library. So, taking the two aforementioned recent closures into account on top of last year’s scuffle, it wouldn’t be surprising if Nintendo does have a role to play in this announcement after all, but EmuParadise has yet to name any names. The fact of the matter is, the site was in violation of copyright laws. So, whoever forced the site to make this drastic move did have the legal grounds to do so, especially since EmuParadise was benefiting financially from hosting its library due to selling ad space.
Will this kill the emulation scene? Not exactly. Other sources still exist. However, this is a crippling blow nonetheless. EmuParadise was known not just for having a vast collection of games, but also being a safe source due to many other ROM/ISO sites being riddled with evasive ads and viruses. So, many in the community are going to have to find somewhere else to get their games if they’re still willing to make the effort.
Still, it makes you wonder what’s going on with Nintendo. Whether or not it also had a hand in this specific situation, it’s still interesting that the company took action against LoveROMS and LoveRETRO along with GitHub’s GBA emulator at the same time. Remember, Switch Online launches next month (September 2018) and will include the new Classic Games Selection service, the successor to the Virtual Console. While only a handful of NES games have been announced to be coming to the service so far, it probably wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine that Nintendo could have bigger plans for the new service considering the lengths its gone to with the aforementioned takedowns. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of all this.