MacWorld reports that Nescaline, an NES emulator, received Apple’s blessing and was briefly available for download from the App Store, but quickly disappeared. iPhone users craving marathon mobile sessions of Paperboy were bereft.
NES emulators are still available for jailbroken iPhones, but that’s not the point. What happened to Nescaline?
If you try to look up Nescaline in the App Store now, you’ll only encounter an error message. So while visions of Bullet Bill and Koopas danced in my head, it seemed that lawyers or hardliners had danced as well—on Nescaline’s grave.
According to developer Jonathan Zdziarski’s blog, Apple initially removed the app without explanation. Jonathan claims on his blog that an Apple rep did call him today, indicating that “Nescaline was removed because it was an emulator,” which doesn’t really jibe since a variety of other emulators are sold in the store.
Copyright concerns being the most likely explanation, Nintendo should hire some iPhone developers and get right on this. Even for $5, I’d buy this app. Well, if I had an iPhone. And didn’t still have a working 20-year-old NES.