Apple may have taken the lightest of light-touch approaches to the iPhone’s mushrooming game market, but new indications suggest that the firm is about to make its own game software with an internal team.
An Apple job posting reveals that the firm is looking for a game software engineer, one who “wants to work as part of a small highly motivated team to work on interactive multimedia experiences on the iPhone and iPod Touch”.
The company’s small team wants a creative skilled engineer that already has about 3 years of development experience under their belt.
The move could be seen as Apple’s first serious bid to dominate the nascent yet lucrative App Store.
In September Apple revealed that there were as many as 21,178 games available on the App Store, a number amassed within just fourteen months after the online portal launched.
Steve Jobs, in a recent interview, spoke of how important games were in Apple’s aim to promote the iPod Touch.
“Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine," he told The New York Times. "We started to market it that way, and it just took off."
But the success of the App Store has left some developers frustrated; with an increasing number of developers and games on board, many are finding it hard to be discovered.
The App store model was initially praised by studios for how it removed publishers from the equation, giving creatives the chance to earn a better share of sales, meaning that they could, in turn, take more risks and be more imaginative.
That utopian vision was hardly fulfilled, with the likes of Fieldrunners rubbing shoulders with trashy topical pieces, and both struggling to stand out in a vast crowd. Now, in an ironic twist, there is talk of developers seeking the help of publishers on the App Store to promote their work.
But the marketing sway of Apple itself, and indeed the aura of style that surrounds the company, may be all a game will need to sell vast volumes on the App Store. If Apple begins to roll out its own titles, such publicity is guaranteed.