Apple Hiring an iPhone Game Developer, Getting Even More Serious About Gaming?

Apple appears to be getting even more serious about gaming on the iPhone and iPod Touch. We've long known that Apple has been positioning the iPod Touch as a gaming device, and Steve Jobs even acknowledged to the New York Times the success of this initiative:

"Originally, we weren't exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine," he said. "We started to market it that way, and it just took off."

In the past couple of weeks, Apple held a "game day" for select media in which they demonstrated some high profile upcoming games, including Star Wars Trench Run and SGN's Skies of Glory. The platform has already attracted some high profile developers including id Software's John Carmack who believes it could be a serious threat to Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP.

"I think mid- to long-term it's a significant threat," he says. "I don't carry a DS or a PSP around, but I've got my iPhone everywhere. So if it plays good games, I'm less likely to pick one of the others up. ... I think the stars could align and it could start to eclipse those other systems in terms of unit sales."

In fact, id Software is so positive about the iPhone platform, they are winding down their development of BREW/Java mobile games for other mobile phones in favor of focusing on the App Store. id Software recently ported Doom to the iPhone and has plans on bringing the entire Quake franchise as well as an original Rage-based game to the App Store.

Apple is now recruiting (via AppleInsider) for a game developer with "3-4 years of video game development experience" who has shipped at least one high profile title. Apple did ship one game (Texas Hold'em) for the original App Store launch but has yet not released any other games under their own brand. Apple has also recently hired Graeme Devine a notable game developer who was also the lead designer for Halo Wars. While the purpose of these hires is unclear, it seems Apple is starting to take gaming very seriously.

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