champiPhone developer Manomio has been secretly working on a major App Store project for the past year that has just been completed, but may never see the light of day in its current form. Readers may remember Manomio as the developer behind the iPhone version of classic game Flashback. Manomio's slogan is "In Retro We Trust" and their mission statement is to bring classic game titles to the leading handheld devices such as the iPhone.

What Manomio has done is to create a fully licensed Commodore 64 emulator for the iPhone that can play classic games and even run Commodore 64 BASIC. The full list of features are as follows:

  • Full speed, Commodore 64 emulator
  • SID sound emulation
  • Auto-save, to continue exactly where you left off
  • Realistic joystick and beautifully crafted C64 keyboard
  • Portrait and Landscape play
  • Vertical and Fullscreen gaming (auto rotate for iPod users)

Did I mention it was legally licensed?

Despite some initial work on the project last year, Manomio had originally decided to abandon the project for two main reasons. 1) a lack of licensing rights for the Commodore 64 and 2) the question of whether or not an emulator would be allowed in the App Store.

licensedManomio, however, ended up connecting with Kiloo Aps who happens to own the license for the Commodore 64 and ultimately managed to sign the proper deals with both Kiloo and Commodore Gaming.

Manomio then contacted Apple Europe in the UK and detailed what they were planning to accomplish and according to Manomio's CEO Brian Lyscarz, "Apple seemed really excited" and so he felt safe that they would sanction the final app. With that assurance in hand, Manomio proceeded to secure the necessary licensing from individual publishers and finalize work on this major project.

It all came to a head last week, however, when Manomio confidently submitted C64 for iPhone along with 3 individual gamepacks (officially licensed) to use along with the emulator. All seemed fine until Manomio received the dreaded App Store rejection email:

Thank you for submitting C64 1.0 to the App Store. We've reviewed C64 1.0 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it violates the iPhone SDK Agreement; "3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple's Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s)."

As originally feared, Apple had rejected their app based on the SDK clause specifically prohibiting interpreted or executable code.


Even aside from Apple Europe's early assurance, Lyscarz pointed out to us that there are a number of apps in the App Store that do exactly the same thing from CHIP-8 emulators, programmable calculators and, of course, Frotz, a Z-machine interpreter. In fact, Sega's Golden Axe and Sonic iPhone games are nothing more than emulators packaged with the original game ROMs. Lyscarz is understandably frustrated with the process after having spent so much of his company's time and money into the project. Lyscarz continues to hope that C64 might still be approved in one form or another.

Here's a video of the game in action. Not all the games shown would be included in the initial launch, but Manomio hopes to eventually obtain licensing for these games as well.

And we'll provide a hands on evaluation shortly.

  • Cyborgmatt

    That's Apple for you, idiots.

    • jimmy

      to be fair to Apple, they are not idiots. They may be short-sighted, closed-minded, and inconsistent, but they are not idiots. Look it up.

      That being said, it is a bone-headed move. If Commodore can't be in the App Store, they should deny Sega's future updates as well.

      • km

        " They may be short-sighted, closed-minded, and inconsistent...."

        Sounds just like the definition of an idiot.

      • AJ

        I agree - they're idiots.

      • Bill Gates

        I personally think anyone who buys an Apple product is and idiot. Just me.

      • Ruben

        erm... why are you even checking this site while you think people who buy apple products are idiots?

    • jrb

      heh. port it to android, and join the other NES, Genesis, and Arcade emulators that exist in the store. You don't get none of this 'head up the ass' BS there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • haha

        jrb says:
        June 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm
        heh. port it to android, and join the other NES, Genesis, and Arcade emulators that exist in the store.

        say, what a great idea, going into crowded market. the whole point of developing it for apple was to be one of the kind.

    • brob

      that's apple arrogance for you.. hopefully one day it will catch up to them

    • Vikram

      Really, I agree with you, this is really really stupid!

      From the start, Apple has always focused on the 'smoothness' and 'beauty' of every product made by it. The App Store, now has opened the doors for many other companies to intrude and create many games and apps that are not in sync with the Apple brand. While Apple hasn't been too arrogant to ban too many games from the App Store, it really can't stand the idea of 'retro' on the iPhone.

      In the end, however, many retro games have been approved. Let's hope that this will end up the same way. Coz this emulator looks like a revolution.

    • Czech dumplings

      put it on cydia and f\/ck apple in the as$

      • robinthenoob

        I TOTALY AGREE WITH YOU, put it on cydia for the moment, and when apple will understand they can make proffit out of that app, put it on the appstore LOL

    • Titof

      Ohhhhh My God !

      Perfect Emulator. It's SAD.... I hope to see a day on my ipodtouch.

      I love the computer 8 bits, I had an amstrad CPC and the commodore was a very good rival.

      I shall like to play again at archon, bruce lee, hunchback, IK+, green beret, barbarian, cauldron and other ....

      I plead apple to accept this !!!!

    • scdaddyo

      Yep, they are idiots. If we want oppression we can turn to the whitehouse for that. Keep oppression out of software.

    • Holk

      Hey .. it's payback time now .. Apple never forgets.
      Watch this clip and then there are no questions left ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Marv

    apple why!?!? This app must be accepted in appstore.
    C64 in my Iphone that would be great!

  • astrosaurus

    Wow, I can't imagine putting all of that time and money into something to have it be rejected. I really hope these guys are eventually able to put it out and or make up for their losses somehow. This would've been a great addition on the app store too.

  • dannys95

    Stupid Apple. How did Blake take the sad news?

    • Blake Patterson

      Two words: ad hoc. ;->

      • dannys95

        Ah no wonder you weren't sad!! LOL, lucky.

  • Chris

    I'll buy this the second it gets accepted. Hopefully some negative publicity will work in our favor.

  • Acidbottle

    omg Apple you stupid fools!

    id have understood if the games were not offically licensed but to reject on some crazy technicality is absurd!

    my estimation of this massive company has now deteriorated by a large quantity. ffs

  • BeefJerky

    The look is absolutely gorgeous. Given that it is legally licensed, it would be a massive shame if it didn't make it to the App Store.

  • rob s

    sonic the hedgehog is an emulator right?

    • Blake Patterson

      I believe Sonic and Golden Axe are Genesis ROMs wrapped in an emulator, yes.

      • rob s

        exactly the point isn't that executing code ?

  • Ben

    That doesn't make any sense. SEGA put up two games using a SEGA Genisis emulator. Seeing how both are officialy liscenced, I don't see why this would be rejected. I really hope Arn puts this on MacRumors, it would really help this news get around the internet. It worked for the NIN app, maybe it will work for this too.

  • nizy

    To be fair to apple, it has been a clause in the SDK since the 1st beta. However they have allowed other emulators or emulated games such as Sonic and Golden Axe. Maybe they just need to remove the apps ability to run any C64 BASIC code so that it only play roms? That way it wouldn't be executing its own code, as the emulator is doing that...

  • Nefhril

    Hope apple comes to there senses, this I want.

    If peoples like Khalid Shaikh can get his apps approved then this should be no problem Khalid has over 800 junk apps like iDoom that contains some sounds from the DooM games (don't even know if this is legal using the trademark DooM to make money) and he charges hi price for his apps.

    • ShrinkRay

      Interesting... one look at a few of those applications and there's so much copyright and trademark infringement going on there it's not funny.

      Most of these applications are quite obviously a scam, either re-using content from other sites, or blatantly ripping off Trademarks and assets like the iDoom application.

      Reminds me of the Android Market, though things are much worse there.

  • Malarkey

    I totally want that app. That looks incredibly cool. C'MON, APPLE!!

  • Stuart

    Thanks for the positive comments, all. We've already been forced to only allow officially licensed packs in the hope Apple wouldn't see it as a generic 'emulator. If Apple loosens it's reins, we'll certainly open it up.

    • Ernesto

      Still, you Manomio are some f\/ckers because you do not have the licensing rights for Flashback. I wish you good death soon...

  • KwikPwn

    Load "*",8,1

    • Aron

      POKE 5183,234 SYS 4096

      • Fred

        Nahhh I have a better one... especially for Apple stupid policy, maybe the following line of code will solve it...

        SYS 64738


  • iago

    I'd easily pay $15.00 for the emulator plus 20 built in games. And I wouldn't think twice about it.

  • Malarkey

    I would think that even by using the image at the top of this article (with the emulator controls) in its advertising, that Apple would sell a few additional million iPhones.

    • RM imagery

      This would be great to have in my phone. I have a C64 emu in my PSP and it's pretty cool.

      C'mon Apple, open the door so Amiga can be next!

      • Stuart

        ...mmm, Amiga - stay tuned....

      • Acidbottle

        yes please!!!!! *gives right arm to a dev*

  • iamse7en

    This is obsurd.

  • Jeremy

    This is an absolute outrage. A big name company can get around the same rule that is applied ad-hoc. Waved around, whenever the feeling arises and is then used to stifle the ingenuity and enthusiasm from independent developers that has made the App Store so great.

    I want an emulator, a 100% legally licensed one no less. That has been put together with TLC, not one which was slapped together, where the bucks was put before the consumer.

  • mek

    I've never jailbroken my device...but this right here just made me say to myself...I might just do it...

    I grew up playing video games on the C64 in the eighties...

    i still have it, but it only seems to load one or two of the original floppies and cartridges

    this just looks...AMAZING

    • Sam B.

      Until apple gets their act together (I think that they eventually will; maybe I'm too optimistic) we jailbreakers would welcome this the Cydia. Hey, there's already an N64 Emulator in Cydia. I've been jailbreaking my ipod touch for a while now, and I've got to say, it's totally worth it. I'd gladly pay for this app. Good luck guys!

      • Jay Freeman (saurik)

        I'm the guy who runs Cydia, and Sam's statement is totally correct. If Apple doesn't want you, sell your application through a channel that does ;P.

  • Aron

    This is the app I have been waiting for and then WTF does Apple do?!!?!?!

  • Kay

    What a crappy move by Apple. Usually decisions like this are the end of a great product and thatยดs when people start to switch over to other devices or just brick it.

  • Gizmoez

    u should refuse to buy any apps...until of couse they allow this :0

    • john

      u mean we

      • Gizmoez

        oh yah my bad

  • randomdude

    Wow even though I never owned a Commodore 64 I would have gladly payed 20 bucks for this just for that retro look....Apple get your act together! Sega use a emulator for Sonic and Golden Axe and then you say no to this emulator...WTF!!!

  • I am unknown

    What that is ridiculous, how could apple do that!!!!!
    I would buy that for ยฃ15 easily
    I feel so sorry for Manmio

  • Jarrod

    I would think by disallowing executable code, Apple is trying to prevent an app that could basically do things that they would not like.
    For example,
    What if you could write a tethering app in c64 basic?
    Far fetched, but i'm guessing this is what Apple is thinking.
    Also, I see an icon in the app for "C64 Store."
    If he had this app approved, he could theoretically put any software in *his* store without having it approved by Apple first.
    This is where it becomes murky because games like star defense are going to have downloadable map packs or whatever, but where does it cross the line of becoming executable code? Really it seems to me, any interaction the app has with the outside world is potentially "executable code" in a sense because it changes the function of the app in some way.

    • Stuart

      The C64 store is our portal to provide direct links to C64 packs available on the App Store or cross sell our other App Store submission.

      The C64 is a sandbox (emu) in a sandbox (iPhone OS). The only 'hardware' you have access to, is virtual C64's hardware - specifically keyboard, display, joystick ports, CPU and SID.



      • Jarrod

        Ahhh I see, So nothing I said really applies.
        Good luck sir! The app looks awesome.

    • Jonah

      Nah, it's not that Apple's afraid an emulator will make new or undesirable things possible. What they are trying to avoid is a layer that commoditizes the iPhone platform, like Sun tried to do with Java and the browser is threatening to do to Windows and, really, all operating systems. The value of a platform is proportional to the number of apps written for it. Emulators compromise that value.

      Another potential motive is that emulated code is inherently slower than native code. Apple has been pretty draconian in order to maintain the performance of the phone, e.g. no background apps. Similar concerns may motivate the prohibition of emulators.

      • Stuart

        You make great points regarding the potential reasons why they are not allowed, and I completely agree the clause is there to prevent an overrun of inconsistent applications; however, a C64 emulator is hardly going to be an issue ๐Ÿ™‚ I don't see anyone writing a twitter client in C64...oh wait, there is one: ๐Ÿ™‚ In all seriousness, our C64 is completely sandboxed, and you can't save your mini BASIC creations today - it's purely there for nostalgia.

        I want to point out that I don't agree with you statement of battery life with respect to games. Emulators push the CPU no more than the high-end 3D games. If CPU and GFX are pushing 100% utilization, they power consumption is the same.

        If you are talking specifically a Palm OS emulator or some other VM to emulate 'business' applications, then yes they will most likely result in a greater drain on the battery that an equivalent native app. It's these kinds of applications that I suspect 3.3.2 in the SDK License Agreement is there to prevent.

      • Ron

        A platform that 'acts' like a computer, but that I can't write my own code is useless for me. Yes I have a dumb phone, and a digital camera, but I don't expect to program those. The iPhone and iPod Touch are both computers. I expect to be able to write my own ad-hoc programs.

        It would be fine if the programming language was sand boxed. I understand Apple would not want us to access, say the parameters for the radio or be able to hack the file system to get information out of the phone. The type of programming I want to do would be like what one would do on a programmable calculator.

      • Jack

        >Emulators compromise that value.

        No, emulators compromise *Apple's ability to charge for* that value.
        As it exists now, Apple is a gatekeeper -- nothing can be run on the phone unless Apple gives its blessing. With an emulator, that control is removed. That is what Apple fears.

        This single app is the greatest argument for jailbreaking I've seen yet. I hadn't considered it before. Now I am committed.

  • benway

    i got an idea, why. apple wants to sell games. many c64 titles are better compared to most of the game apps that are in the app store today, they know that. so why invite the competition if they can keep them out?

  • Mike


  • mek

    somehow i think this will pass, maybe without the emulator boot screen
    and The dev can sell the titles as DLC
    and this is all a negative hype machine...
    either way it is a win win for everyone cause the C64 was an amazing machine for its time and i would love this

  • Ryan

    I would totally paypal a few bucks to get an adhoc copy of this! ;-P

  • Dirk

    There are even some music players for C64 and Atari St music in the store which are emulators too. SID files always contain 6502 assembler code.

    • Fred

      You are totally right, as a former C=64 programmer making demo, when playing music it wasnt just reading bytes like mp3/wav of today. They player routine was builtin along with the data of the music.

      You would normally do something like a JSR $1000 to init the music and then another JSR$1003 a each IRQ to play the music. And afaik this is how most of the SID song you got from the net are store, they include the replayer as a lot of composer had their own custom music tools, especially in the early days of Rob Hubbard fame.

  • ZodTTD

    Apple allows Sega emulation, but not smaller companies emulators. This isn't fair Apple. ๐Ÿ™

    • Stuart

      I hear you ZodTTD big follower of yours ๐Ÿ™‚



    • Fred

      Aint fair, but this is not the first time such thing happen with Apple :-(. I am probably sure SEGA use the same kind of way to built their thing, but hey do you see Apple refusing SEGA? If the reviewer was doing that, you will be sure the next few mins Apple top management will get some nasty phone call and some threat of SEGA pulling their stuff from the AppStore. Apple knows this and wont make big third party such as EA, SEGA, GameLoft piss off as they need them to show off their platforms. Where as smaller indie developer like our self they can easily push us on the side and don't care about the consequence as they wont be any (beside us complaining on twitter/blogs/forums).

    • Jeff

      No, it's not the same. Because Sega doesn't promote "writing your own game" and let anyone play it without using the app store on their home page. Sega sells and emulator hard wired to run a single game...

      What they are selling is designed to let you run your own code, games, apps whatever you want that is written for the c64... it's quite different.

      • spiffyone

        So...if they removed the ability to create executables using C64 BASIC, then Apple might reverse the decision?

        Seems like an okay go around, if that is the case.

        Maybe to get around it, and include C64 BASIC support, they can have a website support that allows users to upload their created applications and then those would be available via the in app downloads (similar to user created levels for other games on the App Store, where the creation software isn't included in the app itself, but via outside support).

  • Olly

    I can't believe that kalid shaiks 800 apps all got approved even though most of them use charcaters and brands he doesn't own the rights to but this company has worked so hard to produce a top notch iPhone retro experience but those S.O.B.S. At apple rejected this????? WTF

    • rob s

      just saw that idiots apps, bloody ridiculous, bet he sells them aswell

  • onamonapita

    stupid bastards

  • MacShit

    Apple SUCKS.

    • Varun Khaneja


  • Jochen

    Wouldn't it be ok if you would make each pack a different app with the vm bundled and removed the c64 store?

  • Loner

    Apple is probably letting SEGA release Sonic and Golden Axe due to the fact that they own the ip as well as the publishing rights.

    • arn

      Manomio has obtained the rights from the original owners for the C64 and included games also.

    • Fred

      Like I mentioned in my reply early on, the reasons why they allow them to do that is well its SEGA. Apple know it is really bad ideas to brush the feather on the wrong side for the big third party. I dont think we will ever see Apple complain to EA, SEGA, GameLoft about ways they are doing their thing. If they did, you might be sure those third party will make some nasty phone calls and threat to the high management at Apple. Can you imagine how bad it will be if EA, SEGA decide to pull from the AppStore and support exclusively a competitor platform. So Apple roll down the red carpet in front of them, but for us smaller indie developer they aren't afraid of the consequence of refusal, ohhh yeah we will write some nasty comments here, on forums, blogs, twitter...

  • Brett

    All the stupid crap on the app store and then they won't accept this fully licensed game?! I never had a C64 but this game looks awesome and I would gladly pay for it. Hopefully arn will put this in Macrumors if he already hasn't to gain some attention from Apple.

  • Dark NRG

    I burned out three C64's in HS and college. Even tho I'm not gonna spend a lot of time playin all the old stuff i played b4, and all the kids today wouldnt know what it is if it bit them on the nose, I'd buy it immediately bc: 1. nostalgia of course, 2. he did such a STELLAR job, surpassing what i could barely imagine, 3. once again to show that Apple can be so archaic and hypocritical.

  • eobet

    This is incredibly cool, and what wonderful polish!

    What a powerful nostalgia blast that interface is.

    I want to buy it. How can we contact Apple and let them know we want them to change their esoteric app store rules?

  • john

    Could this be an indirect, sour-grapes payback for Commodore kicking Apple into near oblivion in the 80's? Apple ruled the roost until the C64 came along and it wasn't long afterwards that Apple kinda lost the gaming market and most of the education market as well.

    Nahh...Apple wouldn't be that bitchy. Afterall, once the company got rid of Jobs it started a comeback...

    Oh! Nevermind.


  • TKO

    WAAAAAAAAAAH! (beats head against wall repeatedly..)

    I bought the Flashback game that, when it all comes down to it, does the very same stuff this emulator does .. except the basic ..well, the emulator could be modified to break Basic (it is Microsoft Basic, after all. Why should it work?) ๐Ÿ˜‰ These inconsistent rulings really are turning into bad press. Why hasn't Apple sorted a pre-approval process for apps that walk the fine line of what's not allowed?

    Damn, I would have loved to be on the beta for this. Between my real (and still working) SX-64, emulators, and many years of 64 retrogaming I could have stomped out any errant bugs. ..and this emulator would have turned out brilliantly too. Flashback was one of the *very* few iPhone games I've played that managed a good digital stick. A perfect translation, and very usable.

    Jeeze.. is releasing the packs with no sign of the original c64 UI the only way they might allow it? Um, what games were in the packs? (there's IK.. any IK+? I'm guessing Paradroid, Pitstop, and Winter Games or some of the games family. Would really love to see HERO, Toy Bizarre, Park Patrol, Ghostbusters, Dino Eggs, Sheep in Space ..and so so many others. I'm guessing my liking for Activision titles won't be practical here tho.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • sekazi

    That would be a day one buy for me. Hopefully if it cannot get though Apple they can release it for the Jailbreak community on their store.

  • Psionic


    1) Submit this story to engadget/digg/gizmodo to build up some hype
    2) Resubmit w/out the ability to use C64 BASIC (clearly this is not allowed)
    3) Reinforce the fact that users cannot use their own ROMS, they are just part of legally licensed packs


    X number of seperate apps, packaged w/ the same emulator base, 1 app per package, no C64 Basic app.

    This should make it through for sure. You'll also probably get better sales this way w/ cross promotions, and can sell the games for 99cents rather than a whole $20 emulator package. Might cost a bit more for individual Icons.. try to use the most recognizable sprite w/ a generic platform background.

    Since the sega games use emulators in the exact same manner, you should make it through without complaint with this alternative strategy. Your work was definitely not in vain.


    • spiffyone

      A better alternative (and something that Sega should do with their Genesis ROMs as well) is to sell a standalone emulator with one or two included games, and then allow for the downloading of new "game packs" via the micro transaction feature of iPhone OS 3.0. Sell the base emulator/1-2 game pack for, say, $5, and then have future game packs (with two or more games) downloadable via micro transaction for, say, $2 each.

      Rip out the ability to create and modify via BASIC from within the app. Instead, set up a site where one can download BASIC onto your PC or Mac, create stuff (outside of the app), and then upload back up to the site. These user creations can then be packaged together by the "publishers" of the C64 emulator app for release as legit downloads via the App Store app update feature, or as free (as in no cost) micro transactions.

  • Hipstarr

    C'mon Apple!

    Like most of you on here, this is an app I would totally buy!

    Hope someone from Apple is paying attention to this thread. Should we even hope that this ruling could be reversed? How often does that happen - anyone know?

  • alien

    Apple wants to sell 50 games to a customer, not one emulator which can handle hundreds.. Is this not clear?

    Being an Android developer, I'm not sure how Google will handle these situations. Certainly, the prospect looks better: there are already NES and SNES emulators out there (which I worry over, as I'm trying to sell my own 99cent game).. But that's the market for you

    These guys should target Android anyhow. That market is going to explode

  • Frog

    This is how and why Apple will fail in the next 10 years.

    • n

      Because some nerds can't play some twenty year old games for $5 (or however much this app costs) on their $700 device? Hyperbole much?

      But yes. If it has the rights and it can't play any other non-licensed games, then there's no reason to not allow it through. Though I can certainly understand Apple's hesitation towards anything even resembling an emulator, in this case it's 100% legit.

  • PDJ Apps

    Palm Pre won't be the death of the iPhone... this nonsense will

    • along123

      ha ha ..farny

  • NoNoNo

    B.F.D. Anyone who read the agreement would realize the app won't be accepted. This is nothing but the developer trying to drum up support from you knee-jerks because he failed to do his homework. Asking someone if they think an exception will be granted is not the way to run a business.

    • Stuart

      The whole point is we *did* do our homework and contact Apple Developer Relations in the UK, and they agreed we'd be okay with our approach.

      • Steven Fisher

        I guess the lesson there is that Apple UK can't make decisions on this. I suspect the same is true of Apple Canada, which means I have some people to talk to on Monday.

        Thanks for the warning.

      • NoNoNo

        Exactly. Asking someone in the UK dev relations group is not doing your homework. It's clearly a violation of the agreement. The agreement even says it can't be modified ad hoc, perhaps you need a lawyer on your team before you make more naive business mistakes like this.

  • kc!

    HOLY CRAP, that looks like a lot of fun! PLEASE APPLE let this one get through!?!?!?! There are a ton of exceptions to the rule and a licensed emulator shoudl be one of them. I would LOVE to buy this and relive my computer youth!

  • Addicted2waffle

    Make a facebook group that we refuse to buy apps until the c64 app gets aproved... If we get hundreds of thousands group members, apple would c that they loose lots of money, so that they have to accept it, and then they will earn more than ever becouse of this awesome app!!

  • Toast

    The fun loving cynic in me is thinking this is Apple's revenge for having Commodore crush them in the market long ago. Too bad the deal never went through in the 70's when Commodore and Apple were negotiating for Commodore to buy Apple (yes this actually took place). If it had went through Commodore would have rightly removed Apple from existence.

    Frankly, I can't understand why any Commodore lover would even dare to have an Apple, IMHO, I consider it a betrayal. Oh well. I do have to say though that I'm not surprised Apple is playing the hypocrite here and I hope this app can get approved. Good luck.

  • trahannn

    if commodore 64 had to be purchased, then the games purchased seperately, then i think apple made a terrible decision.

    all companies are greedy and I assume that they were thinking that if one app had all these games, then they wouldnt make as much money compared to buying them one game a piece.

    I'm just saying....

  • Jan Rychter

    I've been waiting for this to appear -- I hope Apple will realize this is an idiotic rejection. This would add a LOT of value to the iPhone.

  • Ataru

    If Apple are going to reject something as awesome as this, they could at least do us all a favour and reject Sega's laughably bad Genesis/MD emu which is clogging up the app store.

  • LBG

    lol, at all the Apple hating going on. I'm sure that they will allow something like this eventually, sometime in the future. But seriously, if it wasn't for Apple, we wouldn't be here, we wouldn't have our iPhones/iPod Touches, and we wouldn't have our wonderful App Store along with it's thousands of apps.

    • Stuart

      I'm certainly no Apple hater - I love the platform and the device - spent $1,000's with them over the years; however, I do hope their esoteric approval process is improved or as John Gruber at mentioned, they provide a premier process for pre-approval of a certain category of applications, like this.

      (ed. link fixed)

  • a_developer

    Well, someone did a bad move here. Apple Europe for saying yes and the developer for trusting in them, even after reading the agreements in the SDK. I'm almost sure there is no doc from Apple Europe approving that.

    Said that. I also say. All of us (devs) must play the same game and with the same weapons, so if this is not allowed them the Genesis and Sonic stuff must be removed from the AppStore ASAP. It's not fair play that some guys do what they wanted and others aren`t allowed to do the same.

    I'm not agree that a C64 is a lot of value for the AppStore. More value can be obtanied porting this software to Xcode and take full benfit from the iPhone hardware.

    Fair play Apple, fair play for all of us.

    • Dark NRG

      I agree. The prob is it's the ultimate gamble it seems making ANY app for the App store, whether it gets accepted or rejected. Look at SouthPark App gettin rejected.
      I would like to point out I would personally love an Atari 2600 App emulator and buy old games, I could see this having a fan base for anything, but the fact that they have the 8bit emulator and others and reject this...well, running basic isnt even a crime as some have postulated, but I think eventually we'll see this App up.

      How much is it planned to be sold for? Curious....

    • Commander Jameson

      I agree and think Stuart this is the point that is most relevant. That pocket calculator emulator should be pulled immediatley if that is the case. The app store is being run like an arts council! I'd love to have the BASIC to write a crap 10 line program but to hell with tapping out that ancient level of code on an iPhone for a big program! Maybe skip it and see if that helps. Good luck. PS: iPhone UAE = helllll yeah like a boss.

      I think Elite II would be hard but Moonstone or Stunt Car Racer or Alien Breed. Go Stu go!

  • Dan Dare

    Must have this app. Raid on Bungling Bay, Winter Games, Summer Games, And so on. Will it use Volpar load to load the games ๐Ÿ™‚

  • davidwr

    I can see Apple's point of view, any emulator can be a security risk.

    Apple really needs to develop an isolation mode for applications that aren't "signed as safe" just for things like game emulators and other "code-running" applications.

    In the meantime, they should tell Apple Europe not to lead people on like this.

    • n

      I can see Apple's point of view, any emulator can be a security risk.

      To be fair, it's more of a litigation risk than a security risk. To a big company, that makes it worse.

  • Darren

    The cited section of license agreement refers to downloadable code, not emulators in general. Apps cannot download and execute additional code due to security concerns.

    If you just sell C64 games or game packs then there's no problem; how they're implemented is irrelevant. Emulation is fine in that case, and there are many examples already in the App Store.

    If you try to sell a generic emulator that can download or install its own C64 software then that's a violation of the license.

    Sell the games, not the emulator.

    • Stuart

      Darren, I completely agree with you interpretation of the cited section. We don't allow downloadable content today; however, simply seeing BASIC associates the stigma of an emulator and likely the reason we have been rejected. If we remove it, so all you see is specific titles, we may be okay. We wanted to try this first.

    • Dark NRG

      I must be reallllly stupid, bc I don't see the difference difference between downloadable content (code) and emulation. The terms and examples being discussed is f@# confusing me, and i'm a fledgling developer :/
      I can see if it's running BASIC, just because that would be acting as it's own pseudo OS, but programs and programs that add to programs, isn't that the whole point of OS3??

      • Samuel A. Falvo II

        Downloadable code is, as its name suggests, downloadable code. This could well be in raw binary form, suitable for running directly on the iPhone/iPod's native processor.

        Emulation is the interpretation of one CPU's instruction set on another (e.g., emulating PowerPC on ARM, or 680x0 on x86, etc.).

        Note that the two are NOT AT ALL related. As discussed above, numerous SID-players need a 6502 emulator to play the music files. But does this mean they allow downloadable code? Insofar as they exist in SID files, sure, but that doesn't extend to *ANY* arbitrary code. There's only so much functionality you can pack into a 4K chunk of space, and I doubt a SID-player will emulate the VIC-II chip, so there's no hacking that either.

        In contrast, a native application for the iPhone that permits downloading of source code and compiling, even to native iPhone architecture, would be a violation of terms because it's downloading code, WITHOUT going through the micropayments API first. As you can see, no emulation is necessary. I suppose this is why you'll be hard-pressed to find hosted iPhone application development environments in the store.

  • Michael Ehrman

    Now what if Apple did an emulation of the Apple II or the older Mac OS 6 or 7 software and older titles they have? Would they not allow it in their store or use the excuse above???

  • Doug

    All the claims that apple are against this because it creates another conduit for games are bogus, otherwise free apps would never have been allowed either. In any case wouldn't it be possible to bundle the emulator with a few games as stated then allow more games to be purchased via the in app purchasing mechanism that is now available in OS 3.0?

    If a petition exists I will sign. I grew up on the C64 and would be excited to be able to get access to games like sanxion, paradroid, pole position, wizball and many more.

    • Monkeyboy

      Except would apple allow you to upload a free game you don't own the rights to? No... so why would they allow an App that would endorse such behavior? And be realistic, probably not even 0.01% of people will use this App to run games they own.

  • Hamranhansenhansen

    Each of the individual games could be submitted as a separate iPhone app, basically building the virtual C64 into each virtual cartridge. Then you could launch each particular game from the home screen or Spotlight.

    Or go the other way, step back and make a game where 2 characters are equipped only with a C64 and each cartridge is a level that contributes something to the overall game.

    In either case the gameplay would be the same but you stop being an application platform.

  • peter

    this sucks donkeys ones

  • dave

    i hope this make it because the iphone will not be complete in my mind until a 2600 and mame emulator are on the platform

  • http://silloh hman

    Wow, I'd buy this for $20, just for the nostalgia, as I'm sure a few hundred thousand, maybe even a million (with around 30 million c64's sold) iPhone users would. I started with the c64 from 83-86, then an Amiga 1000-3000 for several years till I bought into DOS/Win for college and work from 92-06.

    Being a new "Mac" user since '06 and iPhone user for the last 2 years, I'd like to see the ol'e c64 again!

  • Hooty

    Port it over to Android!

  • mike

    so I assume that 95% of those bitching are now running Mac OS X or Windows C64 emulators at this very moment?

    Oh no? So ... just looking for an excuse to bitch moan?

    Just another day in tech blogging I see...

    • kam


      wow your so cool.

      you need to get laid. itll ease some of that online-tension.

      • mike

        I live in a city with about 30 million people. I don't wanna talk numbers and make you feel bad. Worry about your own dick there, sport. Enjoy playing retro video games.

    • Commander Jameson

      I fire up a Commodore Amiga emulator at least once every three weeks on my OS X. I go full screen cause I love it so bad like u do your hand, Mike

    • dave

      I actually have two c64 emulators which i run from time to time to play bounty bob, so, stfu

    • Uncle Jubba

      I don't need to run an emulator on my Mac or my Linux box Mike, I have 2 perfectly working C64's sitting on my desk. Unfortunately they are cumbersome to take on the plane, or camping, or on the bus, or...

  • Commodorehead

    That's not a Competition Pro Star joystick!

  • Lars

    Drop that section of the agreement now Apple! We want scummvm and C64 on our iPhones.

    • Chaostar

      Err... You HAVE scummvm (and mame, and snes, and nes, and gameboy) on iphone/itouch, just not officially but through cydia for jailbroken devices... It's actually strange that there is no DOS emulator (like dosbox for example).
      And for those that claim that this would be a vendetta from apple to commodore from years past, I'd say that letting a commodore run virtually in your avantgarde device 20 years later is actually a good vendetta heheh...

  • jamie dalgetty

    if that ever comes out i'll buy it

  • H.Stangor

    To me it seems obvious why this clause exists:
    It blocks the creation of applications that allow
    to download stuff from somewhere else bypassing
    the appstore.

    Apple wants a share from revenue of applications they
    publish via the appstore. If someone builds an
    environment that allows download of software
    from somewhere else, apple gets bypassed.

    Sega uses emulation too, but doesnt allow further downloads.

    In App Purchase is the proper way to handle it according to
    Apple if you supply new games through another.

    The problem here is that the list of C64 games is not a fixed
    one in this emulator. This is obvious, isnt it? And also
    clear to understand. I would have feared that from the
    start when developing something like this.

    I dont say its a good clause, but if you wanna play on the
    appstore you have to stick to the rules of the game.

    Make the application buy game packs via in app purchase
    and apple should be fine. I bet you can put 100 of apps
    in one pack for $1... as long as it is a fixed list.

  • along123

    if it approved today on the app store i'll buy it instantly!

  • Tane Piper

    +1 for the Android porting. With about 20 devices by the end of this year that's $$$ for you guys without all the bulls*it from Apple.

    • Commodorehead

      Do Android phones support multitouch?

  • Titof

    apple to accept this !!!!!

  • Rob

    One of the main problems with the current App Store approval process is that it's seems that you fate of your app depends largely on whose desk it arrives. Different App Store approval staff seem to interpret the rules differently and Apple still haven't got a hang of the sheer volume of Apps to have a consistent authorisation process.

    Also, as I'm of a younger generation, I want a MegaDrive emulator! The only game I recall playing on the C64 is Ghostbusters (which looks better than the Ghostbusters app that Sony have pushed out).

  • thirty3baboons


    This looks absolutely fabulous...IF YOU'RE RIGHT HANDED!!!!

  • John Davis

    Wow, what a load of CRAPolla! All the stupid, useless apps on IPhone (Baby Shaker, IFart to name a few) and they wont allow something like this? APPLE SUCKS! Hopefully it will show up in the DEV store where anyone with a jail broken phone can use it! Stupid Apple


  • Rob

    Aussie Aussie Aussie OI OI OI !!!

    • Commander Jameson

      ...Did that just happen?

      • Stuart

        LOL!! ...I think it just did ๐Ÿ™‚

  • seb835

    Come on Apple! We've all been waiting for this one - don't make a silly mistake!

  • TBiz

    Dumbest policy EVER

  • Frank Lin

    Instead of flaming at Apple and how stupid you think they are, we should be finding a solution. The SDK Agreement 3.3.2 said that C64 couldn't be publish because it installs and execute code within the game, making it bacisly a AppStore for C64 games. To bypass this, have C64 already with all the games installed and use the In App Paying System to UNLOCK not BUY the games and if they want to add new games just update it by I stalling the new games already in it but locked.-Frank

  • http://na maxime caron

    You shall start a petition!
    it is totaly stupid from apple to reject such a good app.
    I was considering to buy an iphone because of the hardware (big multitouch screen, digital compass, Assisted gps, Accelerometer,30fps vga video recording) but if thing continue to go wrong like thats i will buy android.

  • iJustRock

    Think of the people
    Don't stick with a bad policy
    Give that joystick to the good city

  • Adams Immersive

    Downloadable level-packs with scripted logic in the game's own format could easily be interpreted (no pun intended) as "interpreted code." And Apple's now promoting DLC specifically. An emulator with downloadable games would be right up Apple's alley!

    I know Apple wants to prevent bypassing the app store entirely, but this needs to evolve. (And with other apps being accepted, as the article notes, I'm hopeful that it WILL evolve. Manyof the big attention-getting rejections by Apple have been reversed later, and rightfully so.)

  • Bobbie

    If you have anything actually showing that you, in good faith, could rely on Apple approving your app, and that you thus invested your own money to this end only to have Apple rescind their approval, you could sue them. Do some research, I know it's doable. Plus you could probably get some backing from the company you procured licenses from since it's also in their interest that your app get approved.

  • Trevariousj

    Release it in the cydia store

  • Brandon

    People should just release apps via jailbreaking. Screw the app store. Sure devs get money, but apple seems so stubborn.

    We need a 3rd party app store.

  • KBSoftware

    Apple is stupid sure but I can see why they are afraid of the Commodore64 OS lol

  • Chris

    They (Apple) really should tighten up that "no-emulators" rule so that it:

    a) *forbids* emulators than can download code from elsewhere (I believe this is the actual intention of the current rule)
    b) *allows* emulators that can only run code bundled with the app itself

    I think that combination would keep everybody happy.

  • Special Offer Online

    Hope apple comes to there senses, this I want.

  • Strider

    Please Manomio don't give up! I am a 35 year old man that is grew
    up with the C=64, if your app will be release on the store, i'll buy it
    immediatly, I swear!

  • Chris

    Just to clarify my point a) above...
    Glossing over the consistency problems the App store has, the no-emulators rule is to ensure that only apps that have Apple's approval get to run on iPhones/Touchs. Without that, it would be possible to sell a that downloaded code from elsewhere and ran that, thus introducing the possibility of punching a big hole in the whole App Store concept. But if an app has it's "payload" built into the bundle, and has no mechanism for downloading additional payload from elsewhere, where's the harm in that?

  • Vlad

    If this leads to Nintendo releasing an SNES Emulator that allows me to play Final Fantasy 4 and 6, as well as Chrono Trigger - i will pee my pants.

    • Alex

      If Nintendo ever stop making consoles, who knows... Until that day there isn't a snowball's chance in Hell that a Nintendo game will ever appear in the app store.

      However, those games you mentioned aren't by Nintendo - they're by Square Enix - so we should all petition them for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Chaostar

      Ehm.. You have a SNES emu for iphone, you can find it through Cydia or Icy.

  • Alex

    I don't think all this "boo Apple you suck" is very constructive.

    Like a lot of people on here, I've got many fond memories of the C64 and this app would be an immediate purchase. I'd happily sign a petition in support of its release.

    I prefer to give Apple and their reviewers the benefit of the doubt. It's worth remembering that:

    1) They have responded pretty well to developer and user feedback so far.

    2) Emulators have always occupied a technical and legal grey area.

    3) Their approval people are just staff, doing their best to interpret the policies that are handed down to them by Apple's big nobs. I'm sure they don't reject people's hard work just for laughs.

    4) The app store isn't just a new market, it's a new model. Apple are making these rules up as they go, and it makes sense to put tight restrictions in place until you can figure out how to relax them.

    I bet we'll see this app in the store soon.

    • Dark NRG

      I agree.

    • Matt

      As everything seems to be fully licensed by the rights-holders, there is nothing grey about it. So it's no more illegal or grey than Sonic the Hedgehog, which is a Mega Drive emulator with a ROM file.

      • Alex

        Granted, but that was just one of my points.

        Unless I misunderstand the issue, if the developers were to remove BASIC and deliver games through in-app purchases then it would be approved.

        I hope in-app purchases take off, if only to put a stop to all these apps which are essentially duplicates with different content (e.g. eBook readers, Sega's emulated Megadrive titles) clogging up the app listings.

  • Laird

    This article is extremely misleading, leading to lots of off-target flaming of Apple.

    Apple doesn't prohibit applications that use emulation, they prohibit applications that allow people to download and run software, bypassing the Apple Store.

    If this c64 emulator was tweaked to not have its own store, but to clearly use the Apple Store's ability to sell add-ons to games, I'd expect Apple to approve it.

    • spiffyone

      I recall a few games released prior (as in almost a year ago) to 3.0 that allowed for the downloads within the app of level packs. Doesn't that count as doing exactly that which is stated is prohibited in that section of the developer's agreement?

    • Matt

      It has already been said by the devs that the emulator has no store which works outside the App Store.

  • theelemur

    Lesson: Develop for other smartphones concurrently, this way the more apple rejects apps, the greater edge their competitors will have. Also, the larger your customer base will be as well : ) Of course multiple platforms == much more effort to port..

  • Dylan

    I can't understand they still want to keep their hands on anything that comes for the iphone since they can't do that anymore anyway ever since jailbreak

  • GreyDawn

    The rule seems very clear. The problem is consistency/ignorance of the Apple review staff (i.e. in violating the very same rule multiple times in the past).

    • Dark NRG

      Two Words: "Baby Shaker"

  • bob1

    but if the great app gets a pass from apple, will we only see those crap games from the manomio site first? Astro Chase and Bristles my a$$, no ninja, giana, Dr. Fred, Katakis and Turrican, no fun. not even IK+ and Brucie are shown in the games section?!?!
    Don't get me wrong, I've been waiting for this from day one and listen to sidplayer daily but I've not been having wet dreams about Bristles and I can't imagine who had.

    • Kumulus

      katakis and turrican no fun???

      are you kidding me?

      • bob1

        i said: no top titles = no fun

    • Stuart

      We're working hard on getting as many of the best titles as possible. Some of the publishers or license holders are very hard to track down - some are more difficult to negotiate with. We urge them to contact us if they are interested in licensing titles with us.

      We'll keep our site updated and you can sign up for our mailing list for notification when new titles become available.

  • AntiFanBoi

    Get a windows modile device.

  • Rob

    Probably said it already but release it to Cydia. i'll paypal the payment and you can keep the full amount. F apple and their rules. What would people say if their car maufacturers came to their house and said "no you can not has a new stereo in your car, not yours".

  • cj

    I had the Com 64 back in the day!!! It was the bomb. Nice Job Apple!! Bring on the Com 64

  • Mark

    Nothing to say, but the captcha I just saw on this form was awesome.

  • Adamal

    I think Apple should be sued for discrimination for allowing some authors to publish apps that clearly clearly violate the same clause in the SDK agreement for which other authors' apps are being rejected.

  • Dark NRG

    I like that Arn is keeping this thread/article prominent.

  • Jim

    Hey Blake or Stuart; do any of the games begin with 'cracked by so and so' messages? Just wondering if something like that might be spooking Apple. I bought Amiga Forever & C-64 Forever a few weeks ago and, even though they are all legally licensed, some roms are the cracked versions. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it is a means of bypassing tedious and no longer relevant copy protection measures. Anyway, just a thought. I suspect this will be approved sooner or later, one way or another.

    • Stuart

      Unless the license holder gives us a non-cracked version, we're typically starting the load process after the cracker, if one is present. Commodore did not want the games to show these prior to launch.



      • Jim

        That is understandable. But, even if the user does not see the 'cracked' messages, would Apple be aware of them? Anyway, it may have nothing to do with that. I was just thinking out loud.
        Good luck.

  • Winter Knight

    I hope this happens more. Anybody who would program for a locked down system like the iPhone is a fool who deserves what they get. Apple is notorious for their control issues, and giving them power over you is foolish.

    You reap what you sow. Natural selection for the win!

  • Mario

    Is there no way to get this outside the Apple store?

    What a bummer. I'd definitely buy this...

  • LorenW

    Apple's App Store review process is abysmally bad. This is pathetic and embarrassing. How many months has this been going on? Apple needs to get this straight NOW.

  • Mark

    i think if apple start doing moves like this, and if word gets out into the mainstream through DIGG and things like that, eventually they will get a reputation just like microsoft. An issue such as this should go straight to the top.. ie. Mr Jobs (im sure he was a fan of the original games) and he should make an executive decision and alter their 'rules' accordingly. this game deserves to be out there.

  • Mason

    The funny part? I bet if he had chosen "play" instead of "run" on the game menu, the reviewer wouldn't have hesitated to approve it.

    Busted by the metaphor.

  • Pete_H

    This decision by Apple is an absolute disgrace - they really need a proper appeals process...

  • Sam

    It's a little hard to believe that they still feel humiliated over the C64's success over the Apple 2 but their actions make you wish that Jack Tramiel cut them off by not provided Apple with 6502 chips.

    • spiffyone

      The only thing I wish as pertains to Jack Tramiel cutting anything off is cutting off his own manhood after he destroyed Atari from within.

      Seriously...even the mention of his name causes a gag reflex in all Atari fans.

      • Fred

        From what I remember when Jack Tremiel went to Atari, one of the reason is that he wanted to let his son run C= which was refused. He later on quit C= and bought Atari and let his son Sam Tremiel run it... to the ground :-(. Afaik Jack wasnt as involve as he was in the C= days and sadly it seems it son Sam didnt have the same business skill his dad had.

      • Rob

        He couldn't relate to the culture Atari which was vastly different from C=.

        One of my colleagues was a former employee at Atari and he didn't have a single good thing to say about TR. He even interfered with the way software/games were bundled. I guess the C= approach did not work and that pissed too many people off.

  • Adam

    Granted: its a stupid decision for Apple to reject this app.

    But its an even stupider decision for Manomio to have developed this app knowing full well that Apple had a specific rule against apps that executed code. THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEIR APP DOES. Apple said from the get-go: No Emulators.

    That Apple has approved apps that executed code in the past is no guarantee for Manomio. Neither is Apple seeming "really excited".

    "Apple seemed really excited"? That's all it took for this guy to dive head first into this project?

    Pff... he got what he deserved.

    • Dark NRG

      Have you even read this thread dude. You're out of touch....

      • Adam

        You mean all of the comments? No. I'm replying to the article. That's why I wasn't replying to a comment in "the thread".

      • Dark NRG

        Well, why not add to the discussion, I mean, its the only article that's been Number 1 on the Home page for 3 days now, get with the discussion....

  • GTaz

    I agree that what we need is for a solution rather than bagging Apple. If the decision is made by one person at an approval "desk" and some apps with similar issues as the C64 emulator are approved, then clearly Apple needs to take the ambiguity out of their clause to ensure a level playing field for all. Let's hope the developers and Apple work it out. I would buy in a heartbeat too!

  • XPert

    Apple is #1 worldwide publisher of burp and fart emulators. Built in C64 fart sound fx to "Fire" key, and Apple immidiatelly approved your app! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I'am C64/Amiga, Atari XL/XE/ST, ZX Spectrum fan from Russia. And i will buy C64 from AppStore or Cydia - no difference for me. You do great job!

  • zunguri

    I'll hold out for an iPhone emulator for my C64.

  • Klaus

    I never wished to jailbreak my ipod, but this app let me start to think about it! I like to have my old commie 64 on my ipod! Please!

  • wow account

    Maybe if they restrict the app to only be ably to play the 3 games included and remove the ability to run other roms then maybe it would get approved. Thats what Sega did to Golden Axe.

  • Dark NRG

    Is anyone a member of Wired online? Check out this article from Google news just now:

    It refers to Apple and AT&T closing the web, disabling things like Sling and such.
    Geesh, if only they had wind of this thread ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Dark NRG

    The first line regarding other's concerns over the mobile web being neutered by Apple/AT&T in the Wired article is:

    "A growing chorus claims that Appleโ€™s questionable approval policy for its iPhone application store raises issues with net neutrality."

    • Alex

      I'm sure this has nothing to do with net neutrality - there are always a bunch of ignorant plebs ready to cry "monopoly, anti-trust etc" when they don't even know the meaning of the words.

      The app store is a shop, operated by the platform owner. What's more, the terms of publishing apps are like night and day compared to the costs and hoops you'd have to jump through to release a title on the DS.

      I haven't checked but if emulators for consoles like the NES do exist on Android, then that is because Google is being derelict in its duties as platform owner. It's cut-and-dried PIRACY and will end in legal action.

      • XPert

        C64 is absolute legal. Read post again.

      • Alex

        I wasn't refering to C64 specifically there. Read my post again.

      • Samuel A. Falvo II

        Emulators do not imply piracy. You're writing a program to interpret the bytecode from another processor architecture. You're writing a program that also implements the I/O interfaces of another motherboard. This is not piracy, for the hardware specifications for everything involved is readily available.

        Even running software on that virtualized platform isn't piracy.

        What raises the question of piracy is how you acquired the binaries to run in the first place. "Abandonware" sites exist for a number of platforms, consisting of binary images for everything from games through to operating systems, written by companies who not only aren't around anymore, but whose legal ownership of the products in question have either eroded into public domain (due to the lack of documented sales transactions involving the technology in question) or whose ownership cannot be tracked (records for a product's sale to another party, who cannot be located, contacted, or otherwise able to respond in a court of law).

        The C64 kernel and BASIC ROMs fall under the category of "free for non-profit use", which is why you'll find a ton of C64 emulators for people to download. Although I've not contacted Commodore directly (yes, they're still in business, surprisingly!), I understand their licensing fees for commercial use aren't obnoxious. So, *selling* a C64 emulator is far from hindered by the licensing fees.

        This leaves only the games in question, and I cannot speak of those. However, most of the original C64 games vendors ARE, in some form or another, still in business today, and thus, it is entirely possible to acquire distribution rights for those old, abandonware games.

        So, tell me again, how is this piracy?

        Get off your moral high-horse and join reality.

  • Jim

    Speaking of neutrality, I'm pretty sure I know where the folks at Touch Arcade stand on this issue. This is the only app, to my knowledge, that has received a 2-day feature article (including digg-link) with the promise of another, soon to come. I don't know if Arn has that much influence, but I kind of hope he does.

    • arn

      There just happen not to have been other stories posted since this one which would have pushed it down. It was Father's day on sunday. We do have lives and families outside of TouchArcade. ๐Ÿ™‚


      • Jim

        Fair enough. Even so, the 'flavor' of the article gives you away. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Fokion

    Well, perhaps Sega had to transfer their emulator code to the Apple API, and that's why they botched the frame rate in age-old games even my old Pentium 133 with 32 mb ram could emulate perfectly.

  • M.Peters

    Hold out guys !
    Great, really great work !
    Lets create a petition and lobby for your emulator !!!
    Get in touch with someone at Apple more open !

  • Graham Smith

    Regardless of those of you who are clearly so 'well informed', this is a great app that would prove to be a real hit with so many people.

    The C64 emulators on the Mac for example are hugely popular, so from a logical day to day perspective (not one framed from Apple's anti emulator stance), this app would prove to be a hit. I am sure many people who had the orginal C64, but don't have a iPhone would even be tempted to look at it as a new phone upgrade.

    That is the passion old C64'ers had and still have, including me.

    So for those of you so high and mighty on your Apple High Horse, just remember that some rules or 'small print' are just there to be tested and broken, bent or played.

    Chill out and give this guy some 'kudos' for developing it knowing it may not see the light of day. He's not stupid for doing this, he clearly knew the risks, now he and others like me are hoping that there will be an Apple turnaround.


  • Amadeo

    Perhaps, after Steve Jobs fully recover from his liver transplant and fully at the helm again, Apple would reverse their rejection of the C64 app.

  • JAY

    Do what they do on the Wii's VC release each game seperately on a self booting rom, that way no other code could be run...though make each game 59p, ยฃ1.19 max!

  • Gregz0r

    Such an awesome and cool retro tv style interface!
    Maybe if the dev loses the keyboard and BASIC bit of the app, and just has the games, with further purchases done through 3.0 In App Purchase, then there surely can be no reason for Apple to reject this!

  • Cutterpillow

    You should never have added the ability to run BASIC code and submitted the application without mentioning that it is an emulator. All you need say is that it's a port of old Commodore 64 games. The SDK plainly states that emulators are not allowed (which is completely lame) so just don't mention that it's an emulator. I disagree with the policy but plainly stating that your app violates the policy is the quickest way to get it rejected.

    Also, don't be surprised that the App Store wasn't as receptive as Apple UK was. Apple UK probably has zero authority over anything Apple related, they don't set policy and they have no influence on App Store acceptance.

    • Samuel A. Falvo II

      You *HAVE* to have BASIC to run a large number of those games. BASIC is used as the bootstrapper for numerous C64 and C128 titles. Remember, the C64/C128 platform has no operating system other than BASIC.

  • Steve

    I'm going to say it is the C64 BASIC interpreter that caused the rejection. Not the emulation.

  • Jon

    Exactly the reason I don't have an iPhone yet.

  • alansky

    I suspect that most of those who are calling Apple "idiots" for now allowing this app don't have the faintest idea what the consequences might be for Apple if they allowed iPhone apps to install "other executable code" on the iPhone. That makes you the idiots.

  • Andreas

    I love the old retro games and emulators. I hope that Apple reconsider.

    This is a great app I would definitely pay for.


  • ุงุณุชุถุงูู‡

    You should never have added the ability to run BASIC code and submitted the application without mentioning that it is an emulator. All you need say is that it's a port of old Commodore 64 games. The SDK plainly states that emulators are not allowed (which is completely lame) so just don't mention that it's an emulator. I disagree with the policy but plainly stating that your app violates the policy is the quickest way to get it rejected.

  • bodhee

    here's an idea. instead of leaking this emulator over a year ago, dissapearing and refusing to answer questions as to updates, soley so you can go out and try to lock in an exclusive license to submite to appstore. then limiting the roms people can purchase to .99 per but purchases, even though you oviously used the vice or frodo source for this..
    how about stop being a greedy s.o.b. and release via cydia as zodttd has done with other emus..they have managed im sure to make plenty in donations and will continue to garner mine and other users support.
    i would sppend 10-20 on an app where i have to then pay $1 per game afterwards when there are tens of thousands of roms freely available..

    the vast majority of users that support the retro cause do it for the love of old games, not to exploit for $$..

    i guess there is such a thing as karma!

  • The Programmer

    After reading all the comments, many of you are very ignorant and arrogant.

    Firstly, Apple owns the platform, they can do whatever they want with it.

    Secondly, the Genesis uses code for the Motorola 68000 CPU. The ARM CPU in the iPhone is a variation of the 68000 CPU family, and changing the code is child's play. Ergo, the Genesis games of Sega don't use "executable" code like a x86/x64 program.

    Thirdly, only 50 people care about the C-64, and all 50 of you posted on this website.

    • Samuel A. Falvo II

      Firstly, the human who purchases an iPhone owns that iPhone, by the basic laws of economics. He should be free to do with his iPhone as he pleases, provided it infringes on no rights of any other free man.

      Secondly, the ARM is a RISC architecture derived from the 6502, not the 68000 (Acorn Risc Machine, from the same folks who brought you the Acorn BBC -- get it?). Despite this, the ARM is a typical 3-operand RISC architecture processor, and has about as much to do with the 68000 as it does with, say, the Intel 4004. Also, what is the x64 architecture? Unless you're referring to the Alpha 21x64 processor lineup, it's nonsense. Call it by what the rest of the industry calls it: x86-64 (notice the hyphenation).

      Third, I count a lot more than 50 contributors to this thread, and threads like it.

      So, I suggest taking care of your ignorance first, then I suggest a serious attitude adjustment towards your elders (because you clearly were born well after the Commodore platform was introduced). The overwhelming majority of folks who now run the show in the computer industry grew up on Commodores (Linus Torvalds got his start with a VIC-20, folks), and most still fondly remember the fun they've had with them. Fun, which, by the way, is most emphatically *missing* from today's architectures. Why is that?

      Let me think...OH YEAH! It's because THEY'RE NOT OPEN PLATFORMS!

      Funny how that works.

    • bodhee

      arrogant and ignorant hmmm.. probably both to post on a comment you obviosly know nothing about.. first, the idea opf who knows or cares about the iphone, the undebateable truth is that it was a machine that has 10;s of thousands of games that were made for it, many of which would be easily portable, run on the iphone with ease and probably sell very very well. sonic has sold tens of thousands on the many of those know or even care what the original platform was?

      take a look at some of the top selling games..many were ports from 8 but computer consoles

      wake up you 16 year old nose pickin geek

      think before you post such nonsense because your post is truly ignorant

    • Stephen

      "Ignorant and arrogant" - both of these apply to you aswell as the special bonus appelation of hypocrite.

      My advice to you is not to try to appear intelligent to people when you can't even grasp the fundamentals of logic.

  • Marvell

    In my blog I write about that only Commodore could beat Apple:

  • Todd Mathews

    It's exactly the same reason why we don't have Flash on the iPhone.

  • Imprez

    This emulator would probably be the final tip of the scale that would make me buy an iPhone. If Apple would wake up and smell the coffee that is.

  • Thomas

    I hope it will get aproved, that would be very fun to have on the iphone.

  • Colm

    I think the Diary of an App Store Reviewer explains everything:

  • dave

    They have approved indeed a smalltalk virtual machine:

    I hope they find a way that apple review their decision.

  • The Toy Detective

    I hope Apple changes it's unreasonable decision. The video clip is a testament to the enormous amount of work you've put into the emulator, it would be very sad if it was for nothing. It would also put off a lot of developers on making truly special iPhone Apps.

    Despite using Apple computers, I don't own an iPhone but I would buy one immediately if your App gets published.

    Fingers crossed and good luck.

  • JJ

    Maybe the solution is to release each game separately, wrapped in its own C64 code. It's not really efficient, but it would be the same format SEGA used. So, instead of having a C64 emulator with many things. Split it in chunks and release each separately.

  • TrippyMitch

    Maybe put it in Cydia and put some ads on the loading screen to make money




  • Rob Lee

    Glad I have a Windows Mobile phone (that has had tethering and copy and paste for years). No one has to give me permission to buy and load the apps that I want (or that I write).

    I understand open source, and I understand why some don't like MS, but I'll never understand how Apple gets away with selling the most closed systems in the world, and people worship at their feet.

  • Kurt Harriger

    The Storm8 games, vampires, world war, zombies, etc.. all clearly use the same game engine. I bet if the distributed each game as separate apps, apple wouldn't even notice.

  • Lane Roathe

    This type of app is specifically banned by the agreement you sign as a developer, and always has been.

    It might seem "idiotic" to do so, but any application that runs 3rd party libraries, scripts or other types of code can potentially be made to do something that essentially damages the end-user's experience of the Apple product.

    Again, the ban on execution of dynamic code (ie, dll's or scripts) and the reasons are in the developer agreement (or, at least, it is in mine).

    My _guess_ is that Apple would allow such an app if it was limited to emulating roms which were part of the application (ie, it could not be extended in any way).

  • a
    • Jim

      That is not an emulator. That does not violate Apple's terms. That is an arbitrary comparison.

  • computerkid2000

    i think i know why they did not want it the C64 back in the 80s it was competing with apples products!

  • ycl

    One of the biggest benefit of webapps is no installation required. There are thousand of webapps and I have made a webapp to search all iphone apps easily on iphone. The application list is updated daily from Apple website. It includes all apps approved and rejected by Apple. It is designed specially to use on the iphone so that you can get the application you want instantly.

    If you are rejected by Apple to list your application, you can submit your iphone webapps at It is 100% free and searchable. Please make an introduction to your work at the forum.

    All are welcome!

  • Richie

    Keep pushing this, and let me know the moment it appears in the app store. Maybe you could start a petition circulated around popular forums, to then be sent to Apple.

    • john spence

      I have been looking for a commodore 64 emulator to use on my nokia with s60 software i have been using Peter Haken em` on my pc for years
      now that i need a new phone and this COULD be available on iphone i might just have to to get me one.

      come on Apple EXTRACT THE DIGIT!!!!

  • Bruno
  • Virgilio Merkt

    I have no clue why bing sent me over to your but I might as well say I am now pretty intrigued by the comments you have sourced together. How much effort did it take to start getting so many people showing up to your page? I am fairly to this interenet thing.


    Bruce Lee was nostalgic. I would pay for that app... How about publishing on Cydia?

  • Dbdavis256


  • sarah


  • Wzj451191

    diablo 3 account

  • Sarah Wilson

    wow! that's a great news

  • Poopoo

    flubertย bapoo glerb snerkel chum plafoo. Gort, Klatu verada niktu.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the great post

  • Johan

    I would easy pay for it. Stupid Apple. If it could run c64 wave tape dumps I would be in heaven ๐Ÿ™‚