Spore, Sega Monkey-ing around on iPhone

Will Wright's evo-civil-space sim joining Super Monkey Ball and other games using the now-open SDK for Apple's all-in-one communication device.

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To date, Apple's efforts to bring gaming to the iPod has met with mixed success. Despite partnerships with such high-profile companies as Electronic Arts, Harmonix, Sega, and Namco, the limitations of the multimedia handheld's clickwheel as a controller have proven difficult for developers to overcome.

A Spore-infected iPhone. Photo: News.com

Today, though, Apple announced it is bringing games to its most coveted handheld, the iPhone. At a conference today live-blogged by GameSpot sister site News.com, CEO Steve Jobs announced that his company was opening up its own iPhone software developers' kit (SDK) and application programming interfaces (APIs) outside Apple for free. This move will allow all sorts of companies to begin designing applications for the white-hot communicator, which Apple hopes to sell 10 million units of by year's end.

Naturally, game publishers will be among the developers wanting to tap the iPhone market. Apple rolled out two major companies--EA and Sega--to show what they could do in just two weeks with the development kit. EA managed a herculean feat, adapting the Mac version of Will Wright's long-in-the-making, evolutionary/civilization building/space exploration game Spore. Sega trotted out a new edition of Super Monkey Ball, which had to have its graphics upgraded for the iPhone.

Apple also showed off Touch Fighter, which it billed as the "the first official game for the iPhone." Developed in just two weeks, the space combat game lets players control an X-Wing-like fighter ship by using the iPhone's internal accelerometer. The person demonstrating the game used his iPhone like a steering wheel, precluding the need for any thumbpad, control stick, or buttons.

Touch Fighter in action. Photo: News.com

While free to download, the iPhone SDK is not without cost. According to Jobs, Apple will take 30 percent of all sales from the iPhone's App Store, the sole means of uploading and downloading third-party applications to iPhones. However, for its cut, Apple takes care of hosting, distribution, and retail duties, freeing developers from such chores. (Free applications will be hosted and distributed for free.) The App Store, which News.com said was reminiscent of the iPhone's Wi-Fi Music Store, also completely circumvents iTunes, allowing direct download to iPhones via Wi-Fi or AT&T's Edge wireless network.

Discussion

39 comments
ssjdagas
ssjdagas

I hope these games will come out on the iPod Touch as well considering it's basically the same as the iPhone except the phone part.

deboom777
deboom777

so spore it the full game spore on iphone

silentgrabbler
silentgrabbler

@TripSe7en I got wheels that have spokes that don´t speak ´til they´re spoken to! But having a NICE collection of games would make the price for an iPhone kinda justifiable...

flixmaker
flixmaker

Is the lack of a control pad really what halted 3rd party development thus far?I don't see a little thing like "no controller" halting the most creative minds of the industry. The DS has plenty of games controled by their touch screen. Maybe the lack of game development was due to there not being an SDK until now.

maxsteel86
maxsteel86

Does anyone else miss the days when phones were small? I compared the iPhone to my old Axim X3i and guess which one was bigger?! Ok... it was the Axim lol but the iphone wasn't that far behind! Compared to phones, it is seriously BIG

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

Wait until Apple releases the "iPlay", their home console that they are working on. They have already applied for patents on it.... I hope it comes out before 2010!!!

TripSe7en
TripSe7en

@ Pinewood Sit down and don't speak unless spoken to!

odpr
odpr

Pinewood. I see that u lack the basic understanding how the iPhone work. it use flash memory not hd. Right now apple is the leader in flash size capacity in the world . No one want to use the old hd technology . in few years the hd will be gone from the world .

motang
motang

So this is how Apple is gonna get into the gaming market, hopefully it will be better than the iPod games.

grvr316
grvr316

To bad I spend my money on my consoles.

Rob_101
Rob_101

Make it for the Zune too.

Storm_Marine
Storm_Marine

Where are the PS3 and 360 versions of Spore!?!?!? It's going to be on the I-phone for goodness sake!

technowiz999
technowiz999

FInally Apple does something almost nice...almost. But of course they are charging 30%; meaning everything will cost 50% more then it should. I also love how they change to this strategy only after people were so angry at the lack of free apps. Their greed finally reached its limit...or has it?

conti027
conti027

it be awesome to play spore on my iphone

sousuke223
sousuke223

hopefully this will go into ipods to but it truly is a genius move for able increases sales makes the products that use these games better hopefully put into ipod since i think iphone useless

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

meh the Iphone cant put anything near what the psp puts out man. it doesnt have the hardware capable of it.

Megawizard
Megawizard

Hopefully it does better than the piece of junk Nokia made.

pinewood2
pinewood2

galactica, you actually think the IPod Touch is cool? I mean a touch screen is nice but it doesn't add any real functionality. It just makes it more faulty and expensive. You can't even get a decent sized hard drive with it. Everyone knows Apple could easily make it have a bigger Hard Drive but there isn't a reason. They are just scamming the people who buy one right now because they'll have larger ones in 6 months.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

IPhone = the ultimate ripoff. IPod Touch = The coolest gadget so far. Wonder if the graphics engine pushes out stuff close to DS or to PSP.

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

What platform of any sort of gaming hasn't Sega milked their frachises such as Sonic on?

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

Somehow I don't really think this is going to be a big deal. People don't buy phones for their games, they're just extra perks. Maybe one or two games will sell relatively well but I doubt there's going to be anything major.

elozl
elozl

well, right now you can install emulators on the ipod touch, this is not new

el_chupacabras
el_chupacabras

So... is big bomb the thing he's dropping or is it what that website is worth? Some people should just move on...

arcelice
arcelice

wow here's what I don't get: Will Wright and EA have been working on their huge project Spore, and now we find out that the project is little enough to fit on a phone?

Mankind_Legend
Mankind_Legend

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Mankind_Legend
Mankind_Legend

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Np_Pro
Np_Pro

PC version will still be dominant

Funkyhamster
Funkyhamster

Woah... that's amazingly epic if Spore plays just like the "real" version.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

Since the I phone costs as much as a PS3 it might as well play games... of course the PS3 doesn't require an overpriced AT&T subscription.

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

@chrisgopher Will Wright is not selling out, EA is. That's how it always has been. Will comes up with a great idea for a game, EA makes it, and then EA subsequently kills it with sequels and ports and expansions and everything else you could possibly think of. It happened with the Sims, and it's unfortunately already happening with Spore. In any case, if you want Will Wright's Spore and not EA's cash-in Spore, play the PC version.

DJSMITH007
DJSMITH007

Games for the iPhone will be hard to make, that is, if you want it to play and look good.

wiifan001
wiifan001

The I-phone is sooo overrated.

reckeweg
reckeweg

Sweet, I've been waiting to get some game for my iPhone.

chrisgopher
chrisgopher

Well I never thought I'd see Will Wright sell out like this. It's a shame, really.

ghost867
ghost867

Eh, not interested. I'll pass.

Pie_FOREVER
Pie_FOREVER

Hoorah! Finally games for my iPhone! And Spore is one of them?! Can this day get any better?