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.
Hook Champ by @rocketcatgames first hit the App Store in late 2009, and has been unplayable on modern devices for years. It's one of the many classic mobile games that GameClub is bringing back to life. Play it now by joining our early access program at https://t.co/xa26bCYO0b pic.twitter.com/CtkPHPVnjH
— GameClub (@GameClub) March 5, 2019