I was looking into development for the SNES in assembly, as programming in assembly is my hobby. I then had the thought: what if I could sell my native SNES games for modern use (on steam, bundled with an emulator for example)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd first start by reading the license of the emulator. If you're not allowed to sell it, then you have your answer. (Though contacting the license owner for the emulator and making a deal with them is sometimes an option.) This is not the only constraint, but that's one, at least. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Nov 7, 2017 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now to be perfectly clear, what kind of hurdles to you have in mind? Since you mention that it's your hobby, I guess you don't have an issue with the code and the execution. Do you think about if Valve would let you sell that? What else? Please edit the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Nov 7, 2017 at 20:04

1 Answer 1


Yes there should be nothing illegal about emulation in itself (any virtual machines such as Java VM would similarly be illegal, if unsure ask a lawyer) and in this instance the SNES has no BIOS so that isn't an issue either but you'll need to license the rights to the emulator (if it does not permit commercial use freely already) or write the emulator yourself.

And you'll likely have to add some custom features to make the emulator and emulated game more user-friendly for the computer user experience, for example:

  • Auto-boot your game with the emulator locked to your game.
  • Allow the game to give achievements?
  • Cloud saves?

It certainly has been done before with other platforms. For example Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for XBox 360, and classic games released on Steam already use bundled emulators such as those by Sega.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Sega also released a large part of their classic Mega Drive games library on Steam by simply running the old game roms in an emulator. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Nov 7, 2017 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can only commercially release an emulator, if you don't base it on the real system (search fir bleem!), you need to reverse engineer everything. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Nov 8, 2017 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint That's false Bleem actually won in court "Ultimately Bleem! won in court and a protective order was issued to "protect David from Goliath". Sony lost on all counts, including Bleem!'s use of screenshots of PlayStation games on its packaging. The court noted that Bleem!'s use of copyrighted screenshots was considered fair use and should be allowed to continue." \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2017 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Stephane That's what I meant. It won against sony, because the infomation was reverse engineered instead of stolen \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:43

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