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Emulator devs are unhappy FB Alpha is included in the Capcom Home Arcade

Capcom unveiled Capcom Home Arcade, a new plug-and-play arcade machine featuring 16 of “the best Capcom titles from the golden age of arcade gaming”, last week.

The 16 pre-installed games – which are the original Capcom arcade ROMs – will be available via emulation provided by FB Alpha. However, Kotaku reports some developers are now questioning whether the emulation contravenes FBAlpha’s own terms and conditions which says it cannot be used for commercial use. Others are unhappy that one of the leading devs behind FB Alpha, Barry Harris, has seemingly licensed the emulator for the machine when it was built upon free work they provided in good faith to an open source, not-for-profit project.

“I’m in the strongly against camp on this as well,” wrote contributor iq_132 on the FB Alpha development forum. “I am very against someone profiting from my work unless it’s me, of course. I have never accepted payment for my emulation work. I’m considering pulling out all of the code I wrote and ported for FBA-this would effectively make FBA back into just a CPS and Neo-Geo emulator.”

“At this stage the majority of FBA, including your core / framework code has had submissions to it that would have been made under a non-commercial license (since that’s what the existing code was, and new submissions have to be compatible with existing code licenses) and also has taken code from projects under non-commercial licenses; one person cannot overrule that and simply change the license,” said Haze. “From where I’m sitting this is very much NOT how you do software licensing, NOT how you work with an existing team, definitely NOT how you do PR, and overall this does NOT seem like it can be legal.”

“It’s a broken trust issue of a personal nature within the group if anything,” added grant2258. “The issue to me is simple a bunch of guys got together made something useful and good the general consensus is the project didn’t want commercial  cashing in. If everyone’s on the same page life is good if someone gets greedy things like this happen all we can do is see what happens when the dust settles.”

The mini-console – releasing on October 25th, 2019 –  is styled to look like Capcom’s yellow and blue logo and will also feature a pair of “competition-class Sanwa sticks and buttons for the finest precision, response times and durability” to “enable these games to be played the way that they were meant to be played”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond.

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