updated 09:30 pm EST, Thu November 15, 2007
John Carmack interview
Gaming guru John Carmack today criticized Steve Jobs' mobile gaming strategy, saying that Apple's business-related decisions may affect the iPod and iPhone's future in gaming negatively. Fountainhead Entertainment and id Software recently formed id Mobile, a company dedicated to providing superior quality games in the cell phone market, after Carmack had experienced some less-than-stellar games on his own mobile device. In an interview with GameDaily BIZ, Carmack says that this is an important area to improve on, as there are approximately 10 to 20 times the number of mobile phones as there are computers in the world today, and about 100 times as many as there are gaming consoles.
The mobile gaming market will reach $10 billion by 2009, according to a recent study by Juniper Research. In an earlier statement, Carmack said that mobile gaming has the potential to eclipse conventional gaming platforms, but clarifies in the interview that it will be a challenge to do so, due to the sheer amount of competing phone products, and varying specifications therein.
With worldwide demand of the iPhone soaring, and with id's recent commitment to the Macintosh platform, GameDaily inquired about whether id Mobile will be deploying titles to the iPod or iPhone.
"We've certainly been looking at it but Steve Jobs and I have not been seeing really eye to eye on a lot of important issues," said Carmack. "We were in a fairly heated argument at the last WWDC and we've had a few follow-ups. I have an iPhone right now and it's a platform I would enjoy developing for but Apple is not taking progressive steps in regards to [gaming]. Their strategy seems to be working just find from a business standpoint, so I'm not going to second guess them and tell them they're being fools or idiots for not focusing on this.
Carmack continues, "The honest truth right now is that Apple's not exactly hugely supportive of this. When they finally allowed games to be put on the iPod... in many ways it's one of the worst environments to develop games for. You have to work on an emulator... just all these horrible decisions. I expressed my fears directly to Steve Jobs that some of these mistakes might be carried over to the iPhone, so they're at least aware of all of them, but they're not giving any spectacular signs that it's going to be a big deal for them in the next year."