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Microsoft bans emulators from Windows and Xbox Store ahead of Creators Update

With the Windows 10 Creators Update only days away, Microsoft is making a few changes that not everyone will be thrilled about.

The company has introduced changes to its Windows Store application rules which effectively ban emulators from the company’s marketplace platform.

Though Microsoft hasn’t provided any official statement on the changes, developer NESBOX took to Twitter to share the changes after its app, Universal Emulator, was removed from the Windows Store.

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NESBOX also provided a link to the newly-updated Windows Store rules which now state, under the Gaming and Xbox section: “Apps that emulate a game system are not allowed on any device family.”

Before the March 29 update to the rules, the Gaming and Xbox section consisted of just one sentence which pointed developers towards the company’s ID@Xbox program.

Now, it seems Microsoft is cracking down across its gaming platforms on any software that allows users to emulate games from other consoles and gaming devices.

The company will soon allow developers to publish games directly to a special “creators” section of the Xbox and Windows 10 marketplaces, as long as they pay a fee of $100 or less.

But it seems any attempts to emulate other software, even if it’s to port older games to the platform, will be prohibited, as the new rule seems fairly comprehensive in its limiting of emulators.

The rule applies to “apps that are primarily gaming experiences or target Xbox One,” too, so don’t expect to see any emulation software popping up on the Windows Store to get around the ban.

Microsoft’s latest rule change means the Google Play Store is the last app store to allow emulation software, as Apple has also banned emulator apps from its App Store.

Let us know what you think of Microsoft’s ban on emulators in the comments.

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