Super Mario Bros 3
GBA4iOS was removed from Github after the code repository received a DMCA takedown notice from Nintendo Nintendo/Business Wire

GBA4iOS has finally met its end after Nintendo of America Inc. filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice with its creator and the GitHub code repository.

Until Tuesday, GBA4iOS was a highly popular video game emulator that allowed Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS users to play retro games from the defunct Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color series of portable video game consoles without the need for a jailbroken iPhone or iPad.

Using a loophole in Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program, GBA4iOS provided a jailbreak-free solution to installing a video game console emulator that was easy to use, allowing users to download a number of a number of Game Boy Advance ROMs, or software copies of GBA games, from third-party websites. Later, after its initial release, GBA4iOS added Dropbox integration for those who had their own library of ROMs.

GBA4iOS was developed by high school student, Riley Testut, who introduced its 2.0 version in February, which included a visual overhaul for iOS 7 and an easier install process. The updated release of GBA4iOS proved so popular that more than 1 million users reportedly downloaded the app in a single day.

Unfortunately, the popularity of GBA4iOS proved to be its doom, with Nintendo’s DMCA takedown filing with GitHub and Testut on Tuesday.

An excerpt from the DMCA filing:

“Nintendo requests that GitHub, Inc. disable public access to the web site at This web site hosts a downloadable mobile application for iOS that provides users with access to unauthorized and illegal copies of Nintendo’s copyright-protected video games in violation of Nintendo’s exclusive rights. Users can download the infringing application by clicking one of the “Download GBA4iOS” buttons on the web site.”

While the site where GBA4iOS originally resided has now been taken offline, the GBA emulator is expected to function normally on iPhones and iPads that already have the app installed, according to its creator.

Prior to receiving the DMCA takedown notice, Testut announced that a planned update to GBA4iOS would add multiplayer support and some visual changes. But it’s unknown if it will ever be released.

Since the 1990s and early 2000s there has been increased interest in emulating video game console games on other devices. While video game developers and manufacturers have tried over the years to stop these unofficial emulations, their efforts have been for the most part unsuccessful in the United States. Although emulators are considered legal in the U.S., unauthorized distribution of ROMs created for emulators remain illegal under U.S. copyright law.