Apple Pulls Game Boy Emulator From App Store

Apple Pulls Game Boy Emulator From App Store

Apple approved the inclusion of game emulators to the App Store earlier this month, but one of the first popular Game Boy emulators has already been removed. Apple tells MacRumors that iGBA appears to be a knockoff, not of Nintendo, but of another emulator. Riley Testut, the developer behind a decade-old Game Boy emulator GBA4IOS, says his app was the one iGBA cloned.

“So apparently Apple approved a knock-off of GBA4iOS — the predecessor to Delta I made in high school — in the App Store,” said Testut on Threads Saturday. “I did not give anyone permission to do this, yet it’s now sitting at the top of the charts (despite being filled with ads + tracking).”

Testut says he was “glad App Review exists” for instances like this. MacRumors reports that iGBA violated sections 4.3 and 5.2 of Apple’s App Review Guidelines, which restricts apps that qualify as spam and intellectual property violations. It’s unclear at this time if iGBA was truly pulled for copying Testut’s open-source emulator, however, Testut later posted that the developer behind iGBA apologized to him for the mess.

Gizmodo reached out to Apple and Testut for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Apple began allowing retro game emulator apps on April 5, as part of a broader update to comply with the European Commission’s new anti-steering guidelines. Retro game emulators are now allowed worldwide, though not if you copy someone else’s emulator. iGBA quickly sprung to the top of the gaming charts as many users played one of the first Apple-approved Game Boy emulators on the iPhone. Emu64XL, a Commodore 64 emulator, showed up on the App Store around the same time as iGBA and is still available for download.

A few video game emulators managed to slip onto the App Store over the years, but this is the first time Apple has explicitly approved them. However, gamers may have to wait a little bit longer before they can play Game Boy on the iPhone.

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