Apple’s New Guidelines Now Allow Game Emulators on App Store

Apple has come under scrutiny in the European Union for its strict App Store rules that restrict external payment options, sideloading of apps and more. The iPhone maker and other tech giants like Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft and more, however, have had to bring in several changes to their policies since the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into effect for the companies in March. Now, Apple will allow game emulator apps on the App Store.

The Cupertino, California based company has established strict guidelines for software hosted on its app storefront. Game emulators, which allow a device to run video games released on a different platform by emulating the hardware of the platform, were not allowed on App Store. In its latest App Review Guidelines, however, Apple confirmed that it will allow developers to make and distribute emulation software on its App Store globally.

Apple announced the development in the “Mini apps, mini games, streaming games, chatbots, plug-ins, and game emulators” section of the guidelines. “Additionally, retro game console emulator apps can offer to download games,” the company said. A report in 9to5Mac also said that Apple sent an email to developers confirming the change.

The company, however, added that developers would be responsible for the emulation software offered in the app and would need to ensure that it complies with Apple’s guidelines and applicable laws. Apps that fail to comply with the rules will be rejected from being hosted on the App Store.

It is still unclear if the App Store will allow third-party emulation software applications that run retro games from publishers like Nintendo, Sega and others on the platform. Game publishers have historically cracked down on emulators that run their games on other devices.

As part of its new app guidelines, Apple will now also allow music streaming apps like Spotify to provide a link to users, directing them to their own website for purchases. Apple users in European Economic Area can provide their email address to music streaming apps to receive a link to the developer’s website to make payments for digital services.

Apple launched the iPad Pro (2022) and the iPad (2022) alongside the new Apple TV this week. We discuss the company’s latest products, along with our review of the iPhone 14 Pro on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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