Now the long wait is at last over, the development industry has been keen to share its impressions of Apple’s smartphone-netbook stopgap, the iPad – and the reactions paint a very mixed picture.
Some foresee big things for iPad, with the extra screen space and five-point mutli-touch opening up a wealth of gaming opportunities. Others, however, are struggling to see how the device sits in the market and how Apple can justify key omissions such as Flash support and multitasking.
Below you’ll find a round-up of what game developers have been saying.
Neil Young – Founder, Ngmoco
“I think we’ll start to see developers adapting their controls moving forward. This new device essentially has five-finger multi-touch, so there’s a lot more we can be doing than just trying to simulate old-fashioned game control conventions.”
Jenova Chen, co-founder, thatgamecompany
“I hoped iPad would be a powerful creative tool with multi-touch interface. All I got in the end is a consumption tool with bigger surface area.”
Bart Decrem, CEO, Tapulous
"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. 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, which ultimately means they 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. Tap Tap Revenge current titles will run unmodified on the iPad, and the new form factor opens up a world of new possibilities–for example, two-player mode will be a blast on the iPad. We’re going to aggressively explore how we can take full advantage of the new capabilities."
Matthew Wiggins, CEO of Wonderland Software
"There are two features in particular that ha
ve incredibly exciting gameplay consequences: the big screen size and resolution. Equally significant is the way the iPad is going to be used – this is a device designed to be used sitting down, for extended periods of time.
“This means that where the iPhone favours shorter, more bite-sized experiences, using the iPad is going to be a lot more immersive and substantial. For a developer exclusively developing for Apple platforms, it’s a exciting opportunity to create games that work with both kinds of consumption.”
Paul Farley, MD, TAG Game
“The Apple iPad is possibly going to have the biggest impact on gaming of any hardware launch to date. 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.”
“Those that create content specifically have the opportunity to not only differentiate their content from the pack but also monetize a premium product. The iPad is the most significant gaming hardware release of all time. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft should be concerned…”
“As the world’s leading developer and publisher of mobile games, we are excited about creating and playing new games on this innovative platform. In addition to Need for Speed, we will announce other titles closer to the launch of the iPad.”
Chris Ulm, CEO, Appy Entertainment
“The iPad has just redefined portable gaming and gives our team at Appy a wide palette of new tools, mechanics and input possibilities with which to make original games that include the personal lives of users.”
“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.”
“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.”
Alex Galvagni – senior VP of global product development, Glu Mobile
“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.”
“The iPad announcement and Apple’s A4 chip have come at a fantastic time for us. We are working on some incredibly fun and exciting games that will look amazing on iPad and take full advantage of its features, as well as working brilliantly on iPhone and iPod touch.”
Mark Rein, Epic Games Vice president
"I am really impressed with the iPad," Rein told Kotaku. "The quality of the materials is outstanding. The screen is amazing and the super-sized apps were fantastic. Everything seems to perform really well on the iPad and I was blown away by the iWork apps – I thought bringing those to iPad was a brilliant move by Apple!"