iPhone NES Emulator dev quickly removes app over “fears” of Nintendo lawsuit

iPhone NES Emulator dev quickly removes app over “fears” of Nintendo lawsuit

The developer behind a NES Emulator for iOS says he quickly removed the app out of fear shortly after it went live in the Apple App Store.

Apple revealed a change to its app store rules in early April 2024 that allows emulators to be added, and users quickly began seeing various apps being approved.

One Game Boy emulator quickly stirred up quite a conversation after Apple removed the app for being a copy of Riley Testut’s GBA4iOS within a day of it flying to the top of the popular apps list.

On April 16, 2024, the first iOS NES emulator was added to the App Store — and was promptly removed — but this time it wasn’t due to Apple.

Instead, just hours after Bimmy revealed that the NES Emulator was available in the iOS App Store — he updated fans on the MacRumors forums that it was removed “out of fear.”

“I’m so sorry everyone. I removed the app out of fear,” he said. “No one reached out to me pressuring me to remove it. But I’d rather not have the risk.”

The legality of emulators is questionable, as they tend to lead users looking for websites to illegally download games they don’t actually own.

There’s quite a bit of hesitancy from developers in the emulator space right now too as Nintendo recently won a lawsuit against Yuzu, a popular Nintendo Switch emulator project, which ended up with it getting shut down and the devs owing $2.4M in damages.

Nintendo shared several arguments for going after Yuzu in its initial lawsuit filing, including mentions of Yuzu allegedly profiting from the early leak and piracy of Legends of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom through increased subscribers to its Patreon.

The company has yet to go after smaller emulators as of writing — but it’s clear that the company’s latest legal dealings with Yuzu has developers worried.

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