Apple Of Troy

I have given a lot of thought to this subject since the iPhone was announced and finally released. I’ve spent countless hours debating on forums with people I never met over the pro’s and con’s of Apple entering the gaming market with the iPhone and iTouch, but none of us could have predicted the overwhelming success of the Application store and how Apple is single handily changing the gaming industry.

Apple has never been know for gaming, the gave that up after their failed attempt at a gaming console with the PiP PiN some years back, and since than they seemed to have abandoned gaming as a whole even as the Macintosh OS X operating system is generally accept as the best platform Movie, Music, and Graphics Arts development.

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Sadly the video game industry which requires heavenly on all of these features has largely ignored Apple as a serious gaming platform. While there are many reason for this it seems Apple has not focused or cared and has pushed gamers away.

So with the arrival of gaming on the iPod we saw some pretty basic gaming nothing to worry any of the big three console manufactures, and now Apple releases the iPhone without marketing it as a true gaming platform. Everyone was expecting the devices to be delegated to simple puzzle and indie game development, but something changed.

Being a gamer myself for the last 30+ years Ive owned countless game consoles, and handhelds. So if there is one thing I’ve learned is that regardless of the technical prowess of the device there are only two simple formulas for serious success in the gaming industry and those are a wide variety of games and price point.

In less than 6 months since Apples Application store has opened more than 10,000 titles have appeared over 100 Million downloads and countless success stories of small developers making huge profits off weeks of work have changed gaming forever.

Major companies have taken notice of these profits, and the sheer number of sales behind the iPhone and Touch devices. Electronic Arts, Sega, Konami, UBI-SOFT, Activision, Square Soft, and even Microsoft have full time development teams working on projects for the devices. There are also countless numbers of individuals who are making fantastic games and applications from their bedrooms that revival many commercial console and  hand held gaming experiences.

Such games as Rolando and Dizzy Bee whose art style and cuteness is up there with Nintendo,  Gamelofts Hero of Sparta a God Of War clone which is close to PSP quality and countless other games which can only be found on Apple’s devices.

Apples unique interface allows developers the creative freedom to design one of a kind experiences, that even your grandmother could play.

While hardcore gamers might snub there noses at the iDevices it’s going to be hard to do that for much longer. With a plethora of titles such as SimCity, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Tiger Woods, Need for Speed and hundreds more smashing into the App Store on a daily basis and none of these costing more than $9.99 each it’s safe to say Apple has single handily changed the entire gaming market and forcing casual and hardcore gamers to take notice.

Casual and Semi Hardcore gamers are the next big thing. Smaller and medium size development studios are no longer going to spend millions of dollars in development only to sell 200,000 to 300,000 copies.

Casual gamers and impulse buys are going to drive the next revolution in gaming. Not Million Dollar blockbusters. Now im not predicting the end of high end console gaming, as I don’t believe this will happen anytime soon, but spending $5.99 on a whim vs 59.99 is a no brainier!

Another benefit is you no longer  have to preorder, travel to the store or wait in long lines to get that title you’re been waiting for. Upon release you simply download it from anywhere and within 10 minutes your gaming!

Developers love it,  as third party companies such as Gamestop are no longer able to make a profit off used sales of  the developers hard work. No more ultra expensive development kits or 2 year development cycles. Combine that with a fair profit margin from Apple and with the iPhone closing in on 14 Million unit this year it’s easy to understand the appeal.

Nintendo is releasing a new hand held called the DSI which has an embedded memory capacity, and rumors are abound that the PSP2 is on the way as well that will allow you to download games from their online services but its safe to say that you won’t be getting the quantity, quality or diversity from Nintendo’s online service that Apple is able to provide. Sure you will get an old NES game for $5.99 or a new Indie game for $10.00, but your not going to see Major franchise titles appearing on the service or hand held for anything under 19.99, and in an economy that plan stinks where individuals are fighting to pay the electric bills expendable income is hard to come by.

I mean would you rather pay $20.00 for two major franchise titles like Sim City and Metal Gear Solid on the iPhone or pay $30.00 for Prince of Persia on the DS or PSP?

Nintendo and Sony initially blew off any comparison of the DS or PSP to the iPhone, but now are absolutely feeling the pressure placed directly on their shoulders from Apple.

No longer are gamers forced to buy overpriced, marginal software. Even is Sony and Nintendo opened an online store today it would be almost impossible for them to set the price point for titles in line with Apple due to their current business model, nor would they open the development floodgates allowing anyone to make titles like Apple has.

With the future of gaming turning to digital distribution Apple’s Appstore is heads and shoulders above the rest. Do you think Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft are going to allow you to buy a game and install it on more than one device in the household? I can answer that with a resounding HELL NO, but with the AppStore I can install a game I bought on any Iphone or Itouch devices attached to my Itunes Database.

This single feature is a game changer! So wait Little Jimmy and Tommy can both play the complete full Metal Gear Touch game on separate devices for a one time $9.99 price!??  GAME OVER.

How much faith do I have in this business model you might ask?  A ton and im putting my money where my mouth is. My eldest son is just getting into gaming and for Christmas he’s not getting a DS, or PSP. He’s getting  his own iTouch device, and while it cost me $250.00 up front I will easy save hundreds if not thousands of dollars with the device over the next year few years!

Not only can he play games, but he can watch his TV shows on the road, and it saves me the embarrassment of playing the Jonas brothers on my car stereo!

So you see with the release of the iPhone and iTouch devices Apple has has slipped a Trojan Horse the size of Mt. Everest into the heart of the gaming industry.

I welcome your comments and feedback on this article..

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Leave a comment
  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.

  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.

  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.

  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.

  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.

  • Tom Schulz

    Speaking as a developer, I think that one of the real changes that has happenned in the last year is that a whole lot of us suddenly started taking Apple seriously as an OS to develop games for. Before the iPhone a Cocoa or objective C programmer was a pretty uncommon creature; even more so the game programmer subspecies.

    Before iPhone games I did PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii and PC game development for Rockstar and Radical Entertainment. The money involved in setting up a shop, and the prohibitive size of a project needed to succeed on, say, xbox360, made it very difficult to start companies, and there certainly weren’t very many people hiring OS X programmers. I was really thrilled when I found out I wouldn’t need a special dev kit, or thousands of dollars worth of M$ crap I didn’t need, or (god forbid) there would not be any java involved. I’ve been pretty excited about the whole thing since.

    I’m imaging that video where Balmer yells “DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS”. Apple seems to have taken that to heart. They provide excellent tools for free, wisely choose a standard like openGL instead of rolling their own, and then provide this unprecedented business opportunity to, well, anyone with $100. The net result is theres now thousands and thousands of us. It should really change games, and just software in general, over the next decade. I

  • Super

    Very good article :)

  • Jorlen

    Great read. It’s interesting to see such a big transition in the way people play games on mobile devices. Honestly, the app store is the reason why I decided to get my iPhone.

    We’ve already got tons of great iPhone exclusive games along with plenty of great ports, and many promising developers are actually quitting their jobs to code for the iPhone / iTouch platform full time! The price is great for us, and the platform easy for them, round and round we go.

    Checking the app store and review sites for new games has become a daily routine for me, along with my morning coffee :)

  • Glenn

    Thanks Bill, I’m sure there are some of us who will disagree on the power and or long term effects that this will bring, but like Nintendo did with the Wii Apple has changed all the rules..

  • Bill

    This is a great article.

    I agree on most all points you’ve made. It will be interesting to see what effects this has on the other players in the gamming market.