Tech Published: 17 April 2024 Update: 17 April 2024

Gaming emulators are now on the App Store after Apple relaxed the rules

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close up of the Apple App Store icon on an iPhone screen

Game emulators are now available on the iOS App Store, just a week after Apple changed its guidelines.

According to AppleInsider, emulators like Emu 64 XL for Commodore 64 and iGBA for Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Color popped up on the App Store. However, iGBA was later removed for spam and copyright violations.

Last week, Apple changed its App Store policy, saying “retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games.” Apple users have had FOMO for years about not being able to download retro game emulators that are widely available on Android. The tech giant previously banned emulators on the App Store, but its relationship with third-party developers has been accused of being anti-competitive. Emulators are a bit legally murky because the developers don’t own the games, companies like Nintendo do.

But Apple was recently fined billions of euros in Europe and is facing an antitrust lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice. This means Apple’s policy change was likely trying to get ahead of its legal issues. Recently, Apple also allowed third-party video game streaming apps like Xbox and Nvidia, a welcome change for gamers frustrated by clunky workarounds due to its stringent policies.

Emu 64 XL is designed for iPads but also runs on iPhones and Macs with iOS 11 and macOS 11 or higher.

UPDATE: Apr. 16, 2024, 12:05 p.m. EDT This story was updated to report the emulator iGBA has been removed by Apple from the App Store for violating spam and copyright guidelines.

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Flavius Trica Creatif Agency Flavius Trica

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