Skyline emulator, our bonafide one-to-watch in the Android Emulation community, has reached a sudden and regretful end to its development.
The news came via an announcement on the official Discord from the Skyline team, stating that they would cease updates to the Nintendo Switch emulator for Android immediately.
A huge roadblock has appeared in development, one that may not only affect Skyline, but a number of similar pieces of software.
Lockpick Locked Off
The problem lies not in Skyline itself, but in Lockpick_RCM, a Nintendo Switch payload that allows users to derive encryption keys for use in Switch file handling. This means that it formed one of the key parts of legally dumping Switch game files for use in emulation.
Well, the ‘legally’ part has now been brought into question. According to the announcement, Nintendo had launched a DMCA takedown notice against Lockpick_RCM, on the grounds that the payload violates their copy protection and therefore their copyright.
This is, of course, disastrous for Skyline, as it would effectively render acquiring dumped game files grounds for legal consequences. The announcement cites this as the reason that the emulator’s team ceased development immediately, as soon as they found out about the potential risk.
The End Of An Era
Team Skyline confirmed that they were unaware of any of their actions contravening copyright law.
This also came with the assertion that the Skyline emulator itself is still legal to download and that they would continue to make it available to those who wish to acquire it, however, they cannot continue to develop or update the emulator.
You can’t showcase screens or video capture on the Skyline Discord as of our last look today, and many staff member statuses display solemn messages.
It’s sad to see the project go, and emulation as a field will always be a precarious one. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, some of the Skyline team leads took the time to announce a silver lining in the form of an undisclosed new project that they feel ‘will interest many Skyline users’. Rest assured we at Droid Gamers will be keeping an eye out for that.
If you need a new game to ease the pain, check out our feature on the best new Android games this week.