The Evolution of iOS Gaming

1.2GHz multicore iPhones, iPads loom

When you follow the money, you have a clear nexus point at which platforms are evolving exponentially, with developers working hard to push these platforms to the limit. And the limits continue to grow -- later this year we should see iPads and the iPhone move to 1.2GHz multicore processors. That's a lot of power in your pocket -- already more powerful than the iMacs shipped at the beginning of the Century.

iPhones, the iPad and the iPod touch are computer equivalents already...

Developers are impressed: id Software co-founder and technical director John Carmack said last week, "I am working on games today using over a million times the processing power of my first game, and my cell phone can do things that no graphics system on earth could do when I started. Processing, graphics, networking, and mobility are all still surging ahead, and there are plenty of exciting things to look forward to."

The different business plans gamers use to drive revenues include: paid-for Apps; in-App purchasing; in-App advertising; sponsorship; and offering free Apps which later require gamers to pay for upgrades.

There's no short route to success. With thousands of titles competing for limited attention many independent games developers see incomes of less than $700, a report last year claimed. Those who do win people over see huge rewards. Take Cut the Rope -- this game sold for 99-cents and has been downloaded over five million times. Take Angry Birds, which has been downloaded 12 million times and is now headed to Hollywood. Take Doodle Jump, downloaded 200,000 times on Christmas Day alone.

All this activity, all this evolution is driving games design. You can see this by taking a look at some of the best games of 2008 (the year the App Store opened for business) and comparing them with the titles which are becoming more popular today.

August 2008 saw the first flush of games hit the App Store, here's one such title, Accel Break. A clone of BreakOut, this simple yet addictive game attracted many players, particularly with its attractive price -- free.

Coming soon we have an evolution of the classic break out game, BitBreaker. This in-development title offers complex gameplay, insane graphics and supports both multiplayer and single-player games.

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