Apple approves old games emulators

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Apple has recently updated its App Store guidelines to allow the distribution of video game console emulators, marking a significant shift in its policy. This change permits developers to offer game downloads within these emulator apps, enabling users to explore a vast collection of classic console games. The policy update is not a result of EU laws but is applied worldwide, allowing developers to charge for in-app purchases within these emulators. Historically, Apple has been stringent about not hosting apps that run external code, effectively banning console and classic game emulators from the iPhone and iPad. This was due to a prohibition on apps that could run external code, which included game emulators. However, the updated guideline 4.7 now specifies that "software that is not embedded in the binary" can run inside apps hosted in the App Store, explicitly including "retro game console emulator apps" in the list. Developers are responsible for ensuring that any software loaded into an app, including add-ons and ROMs, complies with several guidelines and all applicable laws. This includes adhering to privacy guidelines, implementing content filters, and not sharing data or privacy permissions with other software without explicit user consent. An index of software and metadata must be made available in the app, and apps must share the age rating of the highest age-rated content available. The introduction of game emulators to the App Store has already seen the arrival of apps like Emu64 XL and VICE, which cater to fans of the Commodore 64. These apps are listed as free downloads without any in-app purchases, expanding the options for gaming on Apple devices. This policy change is seen as a response to regulatory pressure and an opportunity for Apple to explore new revenue streams through the sale of retro games and related in-app purchases. It also aligns with the broader industry trend of making classic games more accessible on modern platforms. In summary, Apple's decision to allow video game console emulators on the App Store represents a notable shift in its approach to app distribution. This move opens up new possibilities for gaming on iOS devices, allowing users to enjoy a wide range of classic games directly on their iPhones and iPads.
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