Here's yet another interesting take on the burgeoning App Store environment. A company called Gendai Games has a game creator IDE/app called Gamesalad, designed to let you put together rapid prototype-style games for the Mac. They've been doing this for a while, and they even let you export your games out to the 'net using an online portal. But here's the kicker: they're also planning to let you take those games right out to the iPhone.
Their roadmap page talks about downloading to a test iPhone straight from a Mac, but presumably, they'd either have their own app on the App Store in which you could play your games, or even output it to some sort of wrapper app that you could then release on the App Store yourself. Their press release says they will allow for games "to be sold and marketed on the App Store," and that seems to us like there's compensation involved somehow, either through their portal, or through Apple's setup.
Very interesting. Unfortunately, most of this is forthcoming -- their development environment is available for a free download right now, so you could start working on creating your masterpiece right away if you want, but you'd have to wait until sometime "in the next few weeks" to see what iPhone features they have planned. Part of the iPhone's draw as a programmer's platform is that it's relatively easy to develop for, and an environment like this promises to make it even easier and more accessible. Whenever you have a low barrier of entry to development, release, and sales, you end up with two things: a market possibly flooded with junk, but on the other end, lots and lots of creativity.