June 18, 2024

Game Boy Emulator iGBA Removed from Apple App Store

Igba Game Boy Emulator Removed Apple App Store Featured

It was big news when Apple announced it would start allowing emulators in the App Store. This made people sit up and take notice when Apple removed iGBA, a Game Boy emulator, from the App Store. But rather than reversing their prior decision, Apple removed iGBA because of spam and copyright issues.

Developer Calls Out iGBA as Ripoff

Apple announced on April 5 that it was now allowing game emulators. It also announced that it is allowing website links in EU music apps. Under the new guideline, retro game console emulator apps are permitted software, including HTML5 mini apps and mini games, streaming games, chatbots, and plugins.

Android emulators have been available for some time. Check out some of the best Game Boy emulators for Android.

About a week later, iGBA showed up in the App Store. This emulator allows you to download Game Boy game ROMs from the Web and add them to your iPhone.

Riley Testut commented on Threads over the weekend that Apple allowed “a knock-off [sic] of GBA4iOS.” This was a “predecessor” of newer app Delta, which he developed as a teenager. He added that he didn’t give anyone permission to do it and that iGBA was “now sitting at the top of the charts (despite being filled with ads + tracking).”

Testut further noted that he was not upset at the developer of iGBA and that instead, he was upset that Apple changed the rules to allow emulators, then approved the knockoff of his app, even though he’s been ready to launch Delta and an alternative app store since March 5.

Apple Pulls iGBA from App Store

Apple announced on Sunday that it was removing Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store. It explained that it had violated App Review Guidelines related to spam and copyright, but didn’t initially provide further context. Later, Apple added that it did indeed remove the Game Boy emulator because it was a knockoff of another developer’s submission, without calling out Testut.

The larger question that is left unanswered is whether, after protecting gaming for so long and not allowing emulators, if Apple now has such loose standards that it’s allowing knockoffs that haven’t been thoroughly vetted.

The case of iGBA and Apple is at least a case of “buyer beware.” Before downloading Game Boy emulators for your iPhone, you may want to do the homework yourself to determine whether the app is a knockoff.

We can also set you up with the best retro gaming emulators for Linux and a guide showing how to play games with a Nintendo Switch emulator on Windows PC.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Laura Tucker

Laura has spent more than 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with the majority of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past 35 years. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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