GameClub Plans to Resurrect iOS Games Abandoned in the Wake of Apple's Hardware and Software Advances

Last month, the editor-in-chief of MacRumors sister site TouchArcade, Eli Hodapp, announced that he planned to step down from overseeing the iOS gaming site to focus on a new venture. This week, Hodapp has provided more detail about his move to GameClub, a startup that plans to preserve premium mobile games in the wake of Apple's ongoing updates to the iPhone and iPad, which leave many classic games unplayable on modern devices.


As Hodapp explained on TouchArcade, Apple's frequent updates to the iPhone have caused ongoing problems for iOS developers on older App Store games. The first of these major issues hit during the release of the iPhone 4 in 2010 and its introduction of an increased resolution, which meant all developers needed to update their games with higher resolution textures.

While some developers decided to do this, others couldn't justify spending time and money to modernize their games. Of course, this issue grew exponentially worse with the introduction of iOS 11 in 2017, bringing with it the removal of all 32-bit apps from the iOS App Store. TouchArcade kept an ongoing list of every 32-bit app that was no longer supported with iOS 11, including the TouchArcade app itself.
Throughout this process, I started to realize that, entirely by accident, TouchArcade had become this weird museum of the glory days of iOS gaming. Loads of games that passionate developers were excited to release to a hungry customer base now only exist in TouchArcade reviews, or TA Plays videos.

We’ve grumped about this a bunch, in multiple editorials, too many episodes of the podcast to count, a near infinite number of Tweets, and basically every other place you can air a grievance online. These complaints were often framed around, “I wish someone would do something," or “Why isn’t anyone doing anything," as our digital history vanished like a photo of the McFlys.
Now, Hodapp is leaving TouchArcade to address this issue with GameClub, a developer with the intent to bring the best of these forgotten and unplayable iOS games back to life. To achieve this, GameClub will handle all of the updates, ongoing maintenance, and support for each game, in essence becoming the new developer of the game.

These refurbished games will then be added into the GameClub library of games accessible by players. At this time, GameClub isn't disclosing the payment model that will be available to customers, but the company has stated that more news about the pricing structure will come later. The first announced title is Rocketcat Games' Hook Champ, which released in 2009.


Those interested can head to GameClub's website to sign up for early access to the beta program. Invites will start to go out on Monday, March 11. Hodapp also provided more details about vanishing App Store games in a piece shared on gamesindustry.biz.



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12 weeks ago
I actually still have an iPhone 3GS in active duty that plays all my old iOS games from the 2008-2012ish timeline. Things like TapTap Revenge or Zombieville USA etc. Things history has passed by but are still very much enjoyable.
Rating: 8 Votes
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12 weeks ago
This is a good idea! I still have an ipad mini I put a ton of older games on so i'd always have them. So many awesome games were released at the beginning of the app store that didn't require nonsense in app purchases. Games actually felt complete and you could play over and over again. Now you're lucky to play 1 game through without spending 40.00 to complete it. Which is why I refuse to put in app purchases in the programs I design.
Rating: 4 Votes
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12 weeks ago
This is a fabulous idea, I'm really interested to see what the final form turns out to be.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 weeks ago

I actually still have an iPhone 3GS in active duty that plays all my old iOS games from the 2008-2012ish timeline. Things like TapTap Revenge or Zombieville USA etc. Things history has passed by but are still very much enjoyable.


Man do I miss Taptap Revenge. That was one of my favorite first mobile games.
Rating: 3 Votes
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12 weeks ago
Cool idea, but I'm already drowning in nostalgia. Wish more companies would focus on making new things, especially new things that aren't filled to the brim with IAPs because they're freemium garbage, but that's the world we live in today. Can't even remember the last time I played a game on my iPhone. I'm so curmudgeony now. I think between the IAPs and getting a Nintendo Switch, I just don't see much need for iPhone gaming. The controls are so much better on the Switch and I feel like that's where most of the quality indie development has shifted.
Rating: 2 Votes
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11 weeks ago
Flight Control
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago

I actually still have an iPhone 3GS in active duty that plays all my old iOS games from the 2008-2012ish timeline. Things like TapTap Revenge or Zombieville USA etc. Things history has passed by but are still very much enjoyable.

Nice. Tangentially, I also virtualize System 7 to run Dark Castle and System 8 to run Crystal Quest.
Rating: 2 Votes
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12 weeks ago
Interesting idea. I'd dearly love to see them resurrect geoDefense.
Rating: 1 Votes
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11 weeks ago

32-bit apps were not removed from the App Store.

Apps that lack 64-bit support aren't listed in the App Store outside of the Purchased section (nor can they be installed) on iOS 11 and later.

There is a BIG difference between the two, and I feel that the ignorance of this, after all these years, is pretty sad.


I've still got a first generation iPad mini and a fifth generation iPod touch that can only run iOS 9.3.5, and I owned many 32-bit apps that I had been using on my newer iPads. Apps like the game "Sparkz" (which I played for decades, a great time-waster) and the gamified educational apps "Mercury Math", "Mercury Division" and "Trachtenberg". The latter three apps, which weren't perfect to begin with, taught the Trachtenberg speed math system, which I played around with learning for years. Extremely useful fun, but it needs constant practice. I think every child should learn some form of speed math, but there are no longer any App Store apps that teach it.

Unfortunately those apps are now on my newer iOS devices all running the latest iOS, where they are incompatible and will not run. I've tried to load those apps onto my iPod touch and iPad mini 1 without success. I am still running older macOSs on a couple of my Macs, but they were running newer versions of iTunes that no longer could manage iOS apps. I tried installing an older iTunes version to install the 32-bit apps onto my iOS 9 devices from old iTunes backups on that Mac, but it didn't work -- my only accomplishment was to temporarily lose access to my iTunes music and video library on that computer. And those 32-bit apps are no longer listed anywhere in the iOS 9 App Store app that I can find. I can't find a "Purchased" area in the App Store. There is a "Purchased" section in the iOS 9 iTunes app, but it only contains Music, Movies and TV Shows.

Do you know of any other way I could try to install those apps on my devices running iOS 9?
Rating: 1 Votes
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12 weeks ago
If the original game developers couldn't justify the time and expense continually updating their games to work on newer hardware, it's a head scratcher how GameClub thinks they can.
Rating: 1 Votes
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