Apple Allows Game Emulators on App Store: New Guidelines

Apple has recently revised its App Store guidelines to permit the inclusion of game emulator apps, marking a significant departure from its previous stance. Previously, such apps were prohibited on the platform, but now developers are allowed to create and distribute emulation software globally through the App Store. This change comes amidst increasing scrutiny from the European Union regarding Apple’s strict App Store policies, leading the tech giant to adjust its guidelines to comply with regulatory requirements. However, Apple emphasizes that developers must ensure their emulation software adheres to the company’s guidelines and legal regulations, with non-compliant apps facing rejection from the App Store.

While Apple’s decision to allow game emulator apps represents a notable shift in its approach, questions remain regarding the inclusion of third-party emulation software for retro games from publishers like Nintendo and Sega. Historically, game publishers have opposed emulators running their games on other platforms, raising uncertainty about their potential inclusion on the App Store. Additionally, Apple’s updated guidelines also extend to music streaming apps like Spotify, allowing them to provide links to their websites for purchases. Users in the European Economic Area can now opt to receive these links via email, enabling them to make payments for digital services directly from the developer’s website.

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