News Article

Sneaky GBA Emulator Makes Brief Appearance In Apple App Store

Posted by Andy Green

Managed to crawl in as "Awesome Baby Names"

Apple doesn't have the most triumphant reputation for vetting the products found in its App Store, and it looks as though another piece of copyrighted material managed to slip through the badly worn net.

Earlier today, a Game Boy Advance emulator smuggled itself into the App Store using a cunning disguise - it dressed up as a baby name generator.

Yes, a new app called Awesome Baby Names was made available, and upon purchasing it for $1.99 / £1.49 users could tap a few hidden buttons to reveal the emulator along with a wealth of Game Boy Advance ROMs.

Obviously, once being alerted the Apple gang swung in and removed the app so it's no longer available. However, it was in there for a decent amount of time so many people managed to get hold of it.

Did any of you catch a glimpse of this one in the App Store?


From the web

User Comments (41)



Pichuka97 said:

I wish somethong like that happened to Nintendo for once so we could play GBA games on 3DS.



pikku said:

@SethNintendo I think the point is that this actually came with ROMs, I think you have to provide your own ROMs for most of the emulator apps on android



SethNintendo said:

@piki Ah, I see. I believe Apple (not sure because I'll never own an Apple product) tries to prevent any emulator on their store while Google doesn't care. I am not a big fan of emulators but I see why some use it (for games like Earthbound or whatever). However, I don't support people using it because they are cheap and want all the old games for free.

This doesn't surprise me one bit though. I remember a fake Pokemon being approved on iOS and it quickly went to number 3.
"Apple doesn't appear to perform any sort of legal check before putting an app on the store, reviewing submitted apps primarily for technical issues. Instead, Apple relies on copyright holders to file a complaint once they notice the app is already on the store."

Did Apple refund all those people their money or did they just take the money and say ooops our bad? Not sure how Apple and Google can get away with allowing copyright material on without any penalty except for them to pull it from the store. Seems like bs to me.



Shane904 said:

That is kinda funny. And I believe some Android emulators have a search function with a database full of roms, but aren't included in the download. Android doesn't really care whats on their store as long as it's not malicious and it doesn't get complaints.



Captain_Balko said:

@Pichuka97 "I wish somethong like that happened to Nintendo for once so we could play GBA games on 3DS."

It did. It's called being a 3DS ambassador. I got 10 free GBA games just for buying my 3DS when it came out (plus 10 free NES games as well). If you missed out, I feel sorry for you, but I guess the early bird catches the GBA games.



Mariomast3r said:

Funny how ppl think we that use emulators just want the games for free, when in fact we are first generation users who bought and paid for these games and just want a simple way to select through our various favorites without moving off the couch!!!!



SethNintendo said:

@Mariomast3r I hope you are using physical buttons at least. Don't kid yourself though most people that play emulators probably never owned the physical copy. I'm sure there are some "legit" owners like you but some reason I don't suspect too many are. If anything Nintendo made it pretty easy to play all the old games if you just kept your hand helds and games. GBA can play GB/GBC games. DS/DS Lite can play GBA games. 3DS can play DS games. So you don't need that many hand helds to cover all of Nintendo's hand held past.



rayword45 said:

I have My Boy emulator on my phone (without any piracy). Android benefits hooray.

I don't think this is a problem. Half due to the old argument of OOP, lack of profit crap. The other half is without buttons, there's not too much appeal. Metroid Zero Mission is quite difficult to play on a touchscreen.



Knuckles said:

The first time I saw an emulator, it was an Android, and it had Super Mario 64, Goldeneye 64, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, all a tap away, with a bigger library than I thought possible.



SheldonRandoms said:

I saw this on the app store (Thanks touch arcade for telling me that) and I must say, I would love to name my baby Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, or maybe, Advance Wars, but all the moms now are naming their baby boys Wario Land 4.



Stark_Nebula said:

Emulators are a godsend. While I don't condone what most people use them for, I find Dolphin to be quite indispensable - the difference is that I rip my own ROMs of games I own with my Wii. It's so handy for testing codes and other researching purposes. So while putting an emulator on the App Store is stupid, emulators themselves are quite a good thing. Heck, without emulators, Nintendo wouldn't have Virtual Console games. Focus on how ROMs are obtained and not emulators - redistribution is the problem.



theblackdragon said:

Hey guys, let's not with the anecdotal tales of piracy. If you choose to be a pirate, that's on you, but we don't want to hear about it here. Let's keep the discussion focused on the article at hand, please and thank you!



AlbertoC said:

@sak904: Sadly, the two are often together and the conversation can leap from point A to point B any moment. Even if one can use them to make texture mods (like Mario 64) or some other hero-swapping mods we have seen here on this very same site, some use them for running unauthorized-by-nintendo, still being sold on new consoles (only some of them though), old-cartridge-memory-flash dumps, the so-called ROMs.

Being the emulator disguised as a legit application, and being it the Apple Store, i'm surprised these kinds of mistakes still happen to them. We're not talking about dissasembling the code or something, but this could have been effectively avoided by something as simple as checking the file size. Didn't they suspect anything when it's just a name generator? Assuming the emulator was downloaded along with the ROMs and not until the secret interface was acceded, Either A) Someone was not doing their job properly or B) Apple's App Store mods are just elitist snobs.



AlexSora89 said:

As I said in another earlier newspost regarding a various-handhelds-emulator console: what else does Nintendo need to bring GBA games to the eShop?



AltDotNerd said:

I'll never play Nintendo (or really any games for that matter) on an emulator. It's just wrong, and not real gaming!



Tony_342 said:

I imagine at this point some Nintendo employee and some Apple employee probably know each other very well.

"Hey, Dave, it's Bill. Yeah, here's the list of things we need you to remove from the App Store. You know the drill.... Talk to you tomorrow."



LordGeovanni said:

I totally see that happening.

Still wish Nintendo would make all the games into VCs. I have plenty of GB and GBC and GBA games that I would gladly pay for again if I could just get them onto my 3DS. Even the Pokemon games would be welcome...

Let me just think of the games... Zelda (Seasons/Ages is on the way but there is still Minish Cap and LttP/4 Swords), Megaman (GBs), Dragon Quests I-III, Dragon Quest Monsters 1&2, Golden Sun 1&2, Kirby, Final Fantasy, Summon Night...



Zodiak13 said:

I personally loathe emulators that use properties that do not compensate the owner of the rights to a product. After learning how "innocently" downloading free things like music can very negativly effect an individual that created them, I actually went and bought ever album I had ever downloaded. It cost me nearly $2,500, but it was worth it. Stealing is the term for it, and unless someone creates something and intends for it to be used for free, they deserve to be compinsated. Sorry bout the rant but I feel like people always justify DL things for free buy saying its not "piracy", but it is still stealing.

FYI, I don't lump people that make copies of product they purchased in a legit manner, as long as they use for themselves only.



Bryon15 said:

I have a gba emulator for both my psp and Wii. It's great. Runs perfectly.



Bliquid said:

If all the ppl spitting on this had an iPhone with a GBA emulator on it they would be playing on it instead of posting.
And to be honest, piracy on an emulator is JUST AS despicable as asking 6 Euros for a 20 yo GB game.
And to those gloathing about ambassador games, do u realize how much you payed for them?
Or that you have to buy a NES game 3 times to play it on 3 different consoles by the SAME manufacturer?

And sorry for the off topic, but this is why WiiU is struggling: owners prefer to play for the 1000 times the same old Nintendo game instead of trying what the other developers have to offer. Which is plain dumb and counterproductive.




kyuubikid213 said:

"The early bird catches the worm, but the second mouse devours the cheese."
We have Ambassador titles, but they have improved 3DS models with a lower price tag. Even those that got the 3DS XL.



MAB said:

Goodluck trying to play those mofo's with crappy controls.



Muzer said:

@kyuubikid213 Or somehow be a hybrid of the two and use one of the workarounds that existed at the time to get ambassador status on a 3DS bought post-price-cut

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