Games firms including EA, Glu, Tapulous, TAG Games and Appy Entertainment hail new device.
Are iPhone games developers excited about the potential provided by Apple's new iPad tablet? Just a bit.
ME contacted some other games firms for their reactions to the device, including EA, Glu, Tapulous, TAG Games and Appy Entertainment. Read on for their responses.
EA Mobile was on-stage at the iPad launch today showing off a version of its Need For Speed Shift iPhone game. However, the publisher already has more plans for the device.
As the world's leading developer and publisher of mobile games, we are excited about creating and playing new games on this innovative platform, says a statement issued by the company. In addition to Need for Speed, we will announce other titles closer to the launch of the iPad.
Glu has also welcomed the launch of the iPad, with Alex Galvagni, senior VP of global product development and CTO, telling ME that the device will allow users to enjoy games on a whole new level while enabling developers to create interesting and innovative games which can take advantage of the iPads capabilities.
Galvagni says it still remains to be seen exactly how well existing iPhone apps and games scale up for the new device, but thinks developers will have ample incentive to work on dedicated iPad versions.
We do believe that eventually iPad-specific games tailored to the device and its capabilities will be best, he says, before stressing that iPad could be a big boost to companies like Glu.
We believe it is very exciting and could have a big impact to our business as we continue to scale our content up to more sophisticated devices like the iPad. It could also bring more customers to our business and open up gaming to an even larger audience.
Tap Tap Revenge developer Tapulous is also looking forward to taking advantage of the iPad's form factor. For example, two-player mode will be a blast on the iPad, says CEO Bart Decrem.
Decrem says that although Tapulous' current games will run on the iPad, the company is now aggressively exploring how it can take advantage of its native features. He also thinks the device will be important in the ongoing shift of gamer habits.
This is big because it will build on the success of the iPhone and iPod touch, increasing the presence of the iPhone platform in the living room and the bedroom, says Decrem.
That means users will spend more time in front of iPhone OS devices, and less time in front of their TV and traditional console devices. That, in turn, means that users will spend more time in Tap Tap Revenge and other iPhone games. So this is part of a big shift from traditional console games aimed at hardcore gamers, and towards casual, social games enjoyed by everyone during their spare minutes.
iPad's impact on the wider gaming market is also something highlighted by Paul Farley, MD of UK studio TAG Games, which is already working on an 'HD' version of its upcoming Astro Ranch iPhone game, for iPad.
The Apple iPad is possibly going to have the biggest impact on gaming of any hardware launch to date, he says. Not only will it cement Apple's position as the most exciting gaming hardware manufacturer, the arrival of the iPad will further accelerate the transition of all video-gaming to digital distribution platforms.
While he thinks that 99% of developers and publishers will just take advantage of the iPad's ability to automatically upscale existing iPhone games, he thinks others will have an incentive to make dedicated iPad versions of their titles.
Those that create content specifically have the opportunity to not only differentiate their content from the pack but also monetize a premium product, says Farley.
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US developer Appy Entertainment has had a big hit on iPhone, with its FaceFighter game racking up more than one million downloads. CEO Chris Ulm joins Farley and Decrem in hailing the device's wider impact on gaming.
The iPad has just redefined portable gaming and gives our team at a Appy a wide palette of new tools, mechanics and input possibilities with which to make original games that include the personal lives of users, he tells ME.
Ulm also thinks that initially, developers will just upscale their existing iPhone apps and games, but will gradually move to making iPad-specific versions to take advantage of the device's features.
The brilliance of the App Store implementation is that it allows users to immediately have access to 125,000 apps and gradually 'trade up' to premium apps (mostly games, I think) designed for the iPad, he says.
One disappointment for Ulm was the lack of a camera in the iPad FaceFighter makes use of it on iPhone, although it can just use photos too. However, he thinks it will have a big impact for games developers.
I think consumers that buy an iPad will be more inclined to want premium mobile content and more likely to pay a bit more for it, so I think for high quality game developers that want to put more time and money into original games (like we do), it's going to be a real boon.