Apple launches new gaming-centric Twitter account ahead of expected Apple TV refresh

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2015
Apple activated a new Twitter account on Thursday dedicated to iOS App Store games and run by App Store editors, a move that some suggest could be tied to gaming capabilities for an expected Apple TV hardware refresh.




The @AppStoreGames account will be controlled by App Store editors, meaning posts are likely to include more than just basic app advertisements. The feed promises to bring tips and tricks, game challenges and behind-the-scenes information about popular, and perhaps lesser-known, gaming titles.

An Apple representative told the The Verge to expect profiles of gamers and sneak previews, features not usually seen on other Apple-owned Twitter accounts. The gaming feed will also be a hub from which editors can interact with game developers, the company said.

The new account puts a focus on the App Store's bread-and-butter gaming section, while at the same time freeing up the general App Store Twitter feed to concentrate on non-gaming titles.

The public push in gaming comes days before Apple is expected to unveil new Apple TV hardware at its annual iPhone event next week, leading some to believe the new Twitter account will be used to hype Apple TV games. Rumors and speculation suggest Apple is planning to build rich gaming functionality into the next-gen set-top streamer, including potential support for game controllers and a dedicated App Store.

Apple is expected to discuss future plans for iOS, as well as debut new iPhone and Apple TV hardware, at a special event on Sept. 9.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    So stoked for Sep 9th. Huge venue, early announcement and lots of tidbits along the way.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I hate how like %98 of iOS apps are on the knockoff platform.

    I wanna see more exclusives. It just looks corny(ESPECIALY when the iKnockoffs show off these apps)
  • Reply 3 of 11

    My wallets ready.

  • Reply 4 of 11
    Everyone try to look surprised on Sept 9.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    cali wrote: »
    I hate how like %98 of iOS apps are on the knockoff platform.

    I wanna see more exclusives. It just looks corny(ESPECIALY when the iKnockoffs show off these apps)

    Somewhere, in Mountain View, Eric Schmidt is rubbing his hands together in satisfaction.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,834member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cali View Post



    I hate how like %98 of iOS apps are on the knockoff platform.



    I wanna see more exclusives. It just looks corny(ESPECIALY when the iKnockoffs show off these apps)



    Well try running them on your 1 year old Android phone... then get back to us. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. Unfortunately that's the modus operandi in the Android world. Which closely resembles the state of things in the Windows world circa 1993-4

  • Reply 7 of 11
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    mjtomlin wrote: »

    Well try running them on your 1 year old Android phone... then get back to us. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. Unfortunately that's the modus operandi in the Android world. Which closely resembles the state of things in the Windows world circa 1993-4

    I know, I understand that. I don't and never will have a cheap knockoff by the way.

    The point though is, I often see commercials or keynotes with people showing off apps that originated on iPhone as if they're a unique part of the phone's function.

    You see galaxy ads with people enjoying apps as if you can ONLY have them on that phone. It's corny but people eat that up.

    I sometimes see broke droid users laughing together and showing off apps that "my phone can do". And I'm here thinking "that's a fu**ing poorly ported iPhone app...."
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

     



    Well try running them on your 1 year old Android phone... then get back to us. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD. Unfortunately that's the modus operandi in the Android world. Which closely resembles the state of things in the Windows world circa 1993-4


    Windows you say? There are a few reasons I have a bootcamp partition on my Mac... One of them is certainly isn't because Windows is a poor gaming platform now ;)

  • Reply 9 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    cali wrote: »
    I hate how like %98 of iOS apps are on the knockoff platform.

    I wanna see more exclusives. It just looks corny(ESPECIALY when the iKnockoffs show off these apps)

    The only way to get really good exclusives would be for Apple to pay out to 3rd parties to develop them. This is what Microsoft and Sony do. One of Microsoft's exclusives is Quantum Break, which is from the developers that made Max Payne and Alan Wake. Higher-end titles would cost a lot of money, take a long time and wouldn't be guaranteed to produce a hit.

    A cheaper way would be to commission a game port of already popular games but then it's not much of an incentive for people who have played them years ago. This may have been done with Bioshock as there's no Android version:

    http://support.2k.com/hc/en-us/articles/203408763--iOS-BioShock-FAQ

    A developer just has to take a major game or core engine and get it to run well on iOS and customize some of the controls. Apple talked to Valve about Half-Life in the past for a Mac port, way before the iPhone. Gabe Newell said that dealing with Apple on gaming was hard because they didn't make changes they wanted for gaming:

    http://archive.videogamesdaily.com/features/gabenewell_valve_iv_sep07_p1.asp

    "Gabe: we tried to have a conversation with Apple for several years, and they never seemed to... well, we have this pattern with Apple, where we meet with them, people there go "wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming". And then we'll say, "OK, here are three things you could do to make that better", and then they say OK, and then we never see them again. And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow though on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms.

    Kikizo: So you think it's all because of staff turnaround in their gaming department?

    Gabe: I just don't think they've ever taken gaming seriously. And none of the things developers ask them to do are done. And as a result, there's no gaming market there to speak of. We'd love it if they would get serious about it. But they never have, and can't even follow trough on any of their commitments for game developers.

    Kikizo: So would you say that the rumour that crops up every couple of years that Apple is about to do a big plan and release a console box, is basically bullshit?

    Gabe: We've seen no evidence that they are able to follow through on even simple programs in the game space. It seems bizarre to me because it's like one of the biggest things holding them back in the consumer space. If you look at a Macintosh right now, it does a lot of things really well compared to a Vista PC, but there are no games. Why, I don't know. If I were a Macintosh product manager, it would be pretty high on my list, and a problem to get taken care of, as probably the number one thing holding them back with consumers."

    There was another story of what happened that says they wanted $1m to do the port:

    http://steam.gamebanana.com/threads/94173

    3 years later, Valve launched Steam for the Mac and all the Half-Life games were ported and the platform now has over 2000 games vs over 6000 for Windows:

    http://store.steampowered.com/search/?os=mac&category1=998
    http://store.steampowered.com/search/?os=windows&category1=998

    The Mac still isn't treated as a tier-1 platform though and is missing out on most of the popular titles. Windows is competitive with any major single console platform in revenue and userbase. The massive popularity of the iPhone and iPad should allow it to be a tier-1 platform but the revenue model is entirely different on mobile as well as the games that work well.

    You can build a major game for the PC and console platforms and sell them for $60 and it can sell > 10-20m copies in a week and become a billion-dollar game. You can't do that on mobile and on PC/consoles where you might have 100-200 big earners and 5000+ not so big earners, on mobile it's 100-200 big earners and over 1 million not so big. Every game on mobile has to try and work out what game mechanic can convince people to buy things inside the game.

    It's not even as sure-fire as buying a popular mobile studio. Rovio hasn't been able to top Angry Birds. Look at the Candy Crush Saga developer's games ( https://king.com ) - Scrubby Dubby Saga. That's a company out of ideas. Big PC/console publishers have their core franchises too but it's rarely just a single game format or franchise.

    Nintendo managed this back in the old days with platformers - Mario, Donkey Kong etc, which work well enough on mobile. Rayman coming to iOS is an example of this and developed by Ubisoft:

    http://appadvice.com/appnn/2015/07/rayman-will-return-to-ios-this-fall-in-a-brand-new-game

    Apple could pay for those kind of exclusives. If it takes less than a year to develop a platformer with teams of about 50 for 20 levels per game, development cost would be about $2.5m per game and they could commission 50 or so exclusives. One game that I think would work well is Brothers a Tale of Two Sons. It has two characters and normally a single player controls both of them at once with movement and a single hold button for each. On iOS, there can be buttons on each lower corner of the display and two kids can play together. They'd tap on the display to move their character and hold on the corner to do the action and the kids would be co-operating to finish the game.

    It would be nice to see more of a push into gaming for Apple. I see they have a mention from Square Enix in the twitter feed:

    https://twitter.com/AppStoreGames/

    They are the Tomb Raider developers. Building partnerships with the big games studios is a good way to get ahead. Ubisoft, Square Enix, Activision, EA etc.
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Gaming on ATV is going to be a blast. Nothing like gaming on my Mac but awesome regardless. I don't think exclusives deliver much value in this arena. Even in consoles there aren't nearly many exclusives as their used to be. So many games are networked and as such can't rely on just Xbox gamers or just play station players for a robust MMO experience. I believe for Apple it's going to be more about the variety and quality of games in the App Store. Less than any exclusive. If an ap port looks klugy on a droid well then it's that individuals fault for buying garbage.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,213moderator
    Gaming on ATV is going to be a blast. Nothing like gaming on my Mac but awesome regardless.

    That's something they can introduce if the controller is ok. The ?TV could launch a game on the Mac and let you play it wirelessly on the TV compressing the video in real-time like Facetime. It couldn't be just an interface to the Mac desktop, it would be a link directly to the app that streams the video to the box. If you could do this on an iOS device too then gaming hardware wouldn't need to be on the ?TV itself. This way the ?TV can be the hub for certain games on both iOS and the Mac. There would have to be an API for games to conform to so they could be used from the sofa. People could plug iOS devices directly into the TV but this kind of setup saves plugging things in every time. It would be an improvement on Airplay where individual apps could be launched from the box without navigating a non-native UI and only compatible games would show up.

    I actually think the timing of this twitter account will be more to do with new iPhones and iPads than the ?TV. The GPUs in the S models will surpass last-gen consoles. The big thing for the ?TV is just getting apps and 3rd party channels.
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