GDC09: iPhone gaming roundup

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|03.25.09

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GDC09: iPhone gaming roundup
The Game Developers Conference is on in San Francisco, and game companies are starting to pull out the major announcements on what's coming to the iPhone in the next year. Here's a roundup of all the titles we've heard mentioned already.
  • EA announced a huge lineup of ports from their already popular games: everything from Command and Conquer: Red Alert to SSX to FIFA, Madden, and NBA are all coming in some form to the iPhone. They're also working on bringing over the Wolfenstein RPG and Spore Creatures (which was the DS port of Spore), as well as a big list of casual board games (Scrabble is only the beginning), and versions of Need for Speed: Undercover, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour. And most amazing? All of these are due out before the end of the year. Someone's lighting a fire under iPhone developers at EA.
  • id software announced that they're bringing Wolfenstein 3D Classic to the iPhone in an official form -- that one's already been submitted to the store and should be out soon.
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  • Ngmoco, whose CEO already gave a keynote out in San Francisco, isn't slacking either -- they announced not one but two sequels to Rolando, both followed by free level pack updates, and they say that they're also collaborating with developers Secret Exit, makers of the popular (and excellent, and beautiful) Zen Bound.
  • They've also been showing off LiveFire, the app that was originally premiered at Apple's iPhone 3.0 event. Both good and bad news from that one: the "Would you like to buy a rocket launcher for 99 cents?" screen that we saw during Apple's event was real, but only for the demo. They don't plan to let in-app purchases unbalance the gameplay in a way that's not fair. But at the same time, they're leaving all of their options on the table. It may not be from ngmoco, but we'll definitely see some overpriced in-app content before this is all said and done.
  • Our good friends at Joystiq are actually at the show (lucky bastards) -- they've got a report on who took the gold at the Independent Games Festival's mobile awards, and it was Fieldrunners, Zen Bound, and Galcon.
  • Joystiq also has a report from a panel presented by Nvidia showing off some of the best independent games in the planning stages. Some really great stuff in there: Depict and Picopoke work kind of like social scavenger hunts for photos, and FastFoot Challenge uses data from Google Earth to track you and your friends' races around the city. That last one is just the kind of thing we're looking for in an altered-reality MMO. It could be a lot of fun if you have friends with iPhones and a city (or even a forest) to run across.
There'll likely be lots more gaming news from San Francisco in the next few days -- we'll be sure to keep an eye on what comes out of there. As we heard yesterday, there's no platform out there with more potential than the iPhone, so we should see some interesting announcements coming out of game developers of all sizes at GDC.
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