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Android Market's most popular emulators disappear without a trace (update)

Sean Hollister
05.29.11
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If you're an Android gamer, chances are you've heard of Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid and Gameboid: they're all video game console emulators developed by yongzh, and many ranked among the most popular paid apps on the Android Market. This week, they've got something else in common, too -- they've all been abruptly removed. Following a complaint from Sega, two emulators were nixed late last month, but we're hearing that Google has since revoked yongzh's developer privileges, just like PSX4Droid comrade-in-arms ZodTTD. We're currently reaching out to both yongzh and Google for comment, and hope to hear back soon, but it's looking like a bleak week for the emulation community.

Update: We got in touch with yongzh (or Yong Zhang, as he's known in real life) to discuss the matter, and he confirms that his developer account has been removed and his apps pulled without warning -- cutting off his primary source of income and leaving him with an inbox stuffed with worried email from customers. He has, however, already migrated a number of emulators to third-party app store SlideME, where they'll be free for a while, allowing existing customers to get updates without paying a second time, and likely helping a number of new individuals to mooch off his troubles. He's not too optimistic about his prospects at SlideME, though.

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