Nintendo accused of allowing ‘pirated software on the eShop’ by developer of GBA emulator

Picture: Imaginary

Last year, Imagineer published Medarot Classics More on the Nintendo Switch in Japan, a selection of titles from the Medbots series, some of which were originally released on the Game Boy Advance.

As you’d expect, Imagineer used emulation to bring these titles to Switch, but it looks like the company didn’t properly credit the author of one of the emulators used, the Game Boy Advance mGBA emulator. mGBA author derivative indicates that the title “contains strings corresponding to unique parameter names to [mGBA]” as proof.

However, that’s not the issue here – as Frank Cifaldi of the Video Game History Foundation points out, mGBA’s End User License Agreement allows for commercial use. The problem is that the emulator credits were intentionally removed, which according to endrift means Nintendo is “shipping a hacked emulator in a third-party title”.

How this happened is anyone’s guess, but the fact that mGBA’s EULA allows for commercial use makes the fact that Imagineer didn’t approach drifting all the more puzzling. The emulator’s GitHub page even provides an email address for the emulator’s commercial license.

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As for how this can be fixed, it would be relatively easy for Imagineer to release an update to the game that credits Endrift with their work, but the worst-case scenario could see the game pulled from sale.

Endrift said he sent a message to both Nintendo of America and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, so a DMCA takedown isn’t beyond the possibility – although we’d say it may be unlikely to happen.