updated 12:55 pm EST, Sun January 16, 2011
Crytek hiring for iPad and iPhone games
Crytek revealed its plans to get into iOS gaming this week with a listing for an iPad and iPhone game developer. The Crysis and Far Cry team is looking for a veteran for its Frankfurt office that would take control of nearly all of the process. Few clues exist in the code as to the project, but the aim would be to produce "high performance" code and ideally have experience with OpenGL ES, pointing to a full 3D game in the works.
The hiring would make Crytek the third of major veteran first-person shooter game developers to have jumped into iOS games within the past several months. Epic Games joined in with Infinity Blade and was preceded just by weeks through id Software's Rage. Both of those with games in the App Store broke from tradition by changing the control schemes but have been some of the better-selling titles due in part to their graphical prowess.
id Software co-founder John Carmack has already said he estimates the performance is better than past-generation TV consoles and in some cases can match Wii or even Xbox 360 games if optimized well enough.
The pattern isn't likely to upset the developers' emphasis on computer and TV console gaming but is a challenge both to Android and to traditional handheld gaming platforms like the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. Both the DS and PSP are known to be getting sequels soon, but the lack of significant hardware upgrades for the past six years has led game developers like Epic and id to either have minimal development for the platforms or to skip them entirely for iPad and iPhone games. Android gaming has a footprint, but the lack of consistent performance, resolutions and control mechanisms has left it well behind. It may not catch up until the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play arrives, possibly as soon as next month.
Gaming on iOS may become more important still in 2011 with an Apple lineup that could go dual-core with faster graphics. Titles optimized for the extra speed could support much more visual detail.