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iPhone and iPod make ripples in games industry

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Apr 2009 17:39

iPhone and iPod make ripples in games industry As Apple's Inc.'s App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch approaches one billion downloads, heads are turning within the games industry. On any given day, six to eight of the top ten apps downloaded for the iPhone or iPod Touch are games. Some of them are free, but others are priced between 99c and $10, with Apple taking a 30 percent cut.
Some elements within the games industry are taking time out from creating blockbuster titles with cutting edge graphics and gameplay features, developed for consoles and PC, and starting to focus on developing for the iPhone/iPod platform, and more importantly, studying the thousands of games that exist already in the App Store to see what "works" on the platform.

The transition of the iPhone/iPod Touch into handheld gaming devices was more-or-less unexpected when they launched, at least to the level they have achieved. "The iPhone has changed everything," said Neil Young, a game developer who left Electronic Arts to found Ngmoco, a San Francisco maker of iPhone games.

Nintendo appears to be following suit, making game downloads available for the DSi handheld for as little as $2. "Are we intrigued by the iPhone? Yes," said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo's North American business. "But our approach is fundamentally different. We want to give our customers high-quality, innovative and captivating entertainment. A storefront with 10,000 pieces of content doesn't do that."

Billy Pidgeon, an analyst with IDC, doesn't seem too convinced that Nintendo's new strategy is independent of Apple's. "It's pretty obvious from their pricing that Nintendo studies what Apple does," he said. There are more than 17 million iPhones and 13 million iPod Touches in the market, so developers such as EA are not only releasing titles for the platform, but also looking at ways to make apps an extension of its larger games.

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