> also the artwork ends up in the romsets as .svg files for these, as they're
> considered an essential part of making them function. obviously that means the romset
> might change over time if somebody makes higher quality vectors for them, but it also
> means that they're more likely to be used 'correctly'
For what it's worth, there's an intentional difference between the internal SVGs, which (if memory serves) are just vectorized versions of the LCD segments, and the actual surrounding and background artwork that would have gone along with such handhelds.
The former is necessary to be playable, the latter is necessary for the full retro nostalgia experience. I'm sure people will make great artwork in time, though.
An interesting question this raises is what Nintendo's opinion will be about all this, since this is truly the first legitimate, accurate, emulation of the Game & Watch series. Even the Game & Watch (Gallery) series on the Game Boy and Game Boy Color were just recoded versions of the games.
Nintendo have made it clear that they do acknowledge even their most retro titles, given the "Mister Game & Watch" character in the Smash series and their trophies that acknowledge their earliest arcade titles, and I can only hope that, despite being a very traditional Japanese company, they might reach out to the MAME team about using its emulation of the Game & Watch handhelds in some productive manner. I haven't looked into the license tags specifically, but if hap's work is done under BSD-3-Clause, then it's conceivable that all the pieces are already under a license amenable to commercial use.