Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store

Apple on Sunday removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company’s App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), reports MacRumors. The Cupertino firm did not provide specific details about the violations.

iGBA was a clone of developer Riley Testut’s open-source GBA4iOS app, which has long been available outside the App Store. This may have led to the removal of the app from the App Store. The emulator was one of the top apps on the App Store when it was removed. The app was one of the first emulators to hit the App Store since Apple began allowing emulator apps in the App Store, reversing a long-enforced ban on emulators in the official App Store.

While Apple did not provide details about why the app was removed from the App Store, users on social media complained that the app was a blatant ripoff overlaid with ads.

“So apparently Apple approved a knock-off of GBA4iOS,” said Testut, in a Threads post on 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).” He sarcastically added that he was “so glad App Review exists to protect consumers from scams and rip-offs like this.”

iGBA allowed iPhone users to play Game Boy games by loading ROMs downloaded from the web. ROMs can be found online for a wide variety of games, including popular Nintendo Game Boy games. The emulator can still be used by those who had installed it on their iPhones before it was removed from the App Store.

Nintendo’s customer support website in the U.S., Nintendo says downloading pirated copies of its games is illegal. Nintendo had long led the battle against emulators. It is possible that Nintendo sent a complaint to Apple about iGBA, and that may have been a reason for the app’s removal.

Just over a week ago, Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit “retro game console emulators.” However, Apple did not make it very clear as to what types of emulators would be allowed in the App Store, leaving developers slightly confused.

As for Testut, he went on to create another Nintendo game emulator called Delta, which is distributed outside of the App Store. Delta will also be available through Testut’s alternative app marketplace AltStore on iPhones in the EU. It is not clear if he plans to make Delta available in the App Store following the rule change.