Apple to allow retro game emulators on iOS

Apple will start allowing console game emulators on the App Store as the European Union's Digital Markets Act shakes up the global digital landscape.

1 minute & 32 seconds read time

Apple makes a pre-emptive change in its App Store policies in an effort to head off negative effects from the European Union's new Digital Markets Act (DMA) legislation.

Apple to allow retro game emulators on iOS 2

The EU's new DMA is changing the face of the digital world as we know it. European lawmakers have used the new act to crack open Apple's ill-favored App Store policies and force some pretty big changes. The biggest shake-up is that Apple must now allow app developers to sell their apps and content on independent third-party stores on iOS, a move that allows developers to circumvent Apple's 30% commission fee.

As part of Apple's DMA-sparked changes, retro game emulators will now be unbanned on the App Store and users are free to download and use them.

Per Apple's new policy update:

4.7 Mini apps, mini games, streaming games, chatbots, plug-ins, and game emulators

Apps may offer certain software that is not embedded in the binary, specifically HTML5 mini apps and mini games, streaming games, chatbots, and plug-ins. Additionally, retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games. You are responsible for all such software offered in your app, including ensuring that such software complies with these Guidelines and all applicable laws. Software that does not comply with one or more guidelines will lead to the rejection of your app. You must also ensure that the software adheres to the additional rules that follow in 4.7.1 and 4.7.5. These additional rules are important to preserve the experience that App Store customers expect, and to help ensure user safety.

4.7.1 Software offered in apps under this rule must:

  • follow all privacy guidelines, including but not limited to the rules set forth in Guideline 5.1 concerning collection, use, and sharing of data, and sensitive data (such as health and personal data from kids);
  • include a method for filtering objectionable material, a mechanism to report content and timely responses to concerns, and the ability to block abusive users; and
  • use in-app purchase in order to offer digital goods or services to end users.
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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