MICROSOFT HAS LAUNCHED a crackdown on game emulators and has banned devs from submitting them to the Windows Store.
News of the ban comes courtesy of developer NESBox, whose Universal Emulator app for playing Nintendo and Sega ROMs has found itself unpublished following an update to Microsoft's Windows Store rules.
Microsoft's policy was updated on 29 March, ahead of the imminent rollout of the Windows 10 Creators Update, and now states: "Apps that emulate a game system are not allowed on any device family," confirming that emulators are now not allowed on Windows 10, Xbox or Windows Phone devices.
NESBox says it plans to get around the removal of its app from the Windows Store by focusing instead on its web browser version, but other developers might not find the change so easy.
The news hasn't down well with gamers either, who have been quick to slam Microsoft's decision, which likely comes given been the murky legal issues surrounding game emulation software.
"One more reason to never use the Windows Store, as if the vender lock-in and exclusion of platforms like Linux (which Microsoft regularly claims to love) weren't already enough," one Reddit user wrote. "I'll stick to a platform which lets me run whatever software I feel like and doesn't spy on me thanks!
Another added: "A small vision of the future Microsoft has for us if the Windows Store manages to defy the odds and become popular enough that they could get away with spinning down win32 compatibility. May the windows store fail hard, fast and continually."
Microsoft's move leaves Google Play as the only mobile app store still supporting game emulator apps, with Apple also banning these kind of apps. µ
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