Arguably Nintendo’s biggest release of the year, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, has leaked online.
What Happened: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for Nintendo Switch has been leaked online.
- The latest Zelda game is currently being shared on various websites and social media platforms.
- Tears of the Kingdom is due for release officially on May 12, 2023.
- The version is likely an early copy that has been dumped via a hacked Nintendo Switch console.
What’s Happening: Several people who acquired the game have begun spreading spoilers online.
- Fans are already seeing leaked in-game screenshots pop up on sites like Reddit.
- People attempting to stream the game on sites like Twitch and Kick are having their streams forcefully closed.
- On Twitch, a message reads “Content from this channel has been removed at the request of the copyright holder [Nintendo].”
- Streaming copyrighted content prior to release may be a terms of service breach depending on the platform.
The Legality: As there is no way to play Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom without dumping it yourself, any downloading of the game is likely to be illegal.
- Downloading games is illegal in most countries.
- Ripping games yourself, however, is not illegal in most countries.
- Nintendo has been known to lawyer up when the company’s games are being pirated.
- In a high-profile case, Nintendo took Gary Bowser to court for his part in a piracy group.
- Bowser was sentenced to 40 months in prison and agreed to pay Nintendo $14.5 million dollars in restitution.
Current Performance: At the time of writing, users report that the game runs poorly when emulated, especially on Steam Deck.
- On Ryujinx, the game runs at 20 to 30 frames per second.
- On Yuzu, attempting to launch the game results in a crash.
- Given the popularity of the title, it’s worth holding off until launch day to give the emulator’s developers a chance to fix the performance issues.
How to Stay Safe: Given how previous leaks work, avoiding social media websites is the safest way to avoid spoilers.
- Twitter has an advanced muting function for specific words and phrases.
- On Instagram, avoid clicking on any Zelda-related hashtags.
- Check your social media platform’s settings menu to see how you can mute phrases.
- Remove any gaming channels from your feed temporarily.
In the meantime, maybe stick with modding The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Steam Deck via a Wii U emulator if you’re not looking to start a fight with Nintendo’s lawyers.