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As the iPhone upended the gaming industry

10 years ago, the legendary entrepreneur and founder of Apple, Steve jobs showed the world the iPhone — a device that forever changed the smartphones. In the publication Life decided to find out how this revolution had an impact on mobile games.

Ironic that the presentation of the first iPhone didn’t say anything about the Olympics of the entertainment he was only watching videos and listening to music. The App store appeared only a year later, the day before the release of the iPhone 3G. But this part, and the turning point occurred precisely when jobs was shown that it is time to forget about the plastic keys and the content on the screen need not touch styli, and family with your fingers. The developers of “serious” applications have the opportunity to re-create the interface programs for the PC and game a step further. Click changed the gaming industry forever and it’s not just the mobile parts.

That was before iPhone

It’s funny to remember how games looked on the phones of 10 years ago. Management, generally, was tied to the buttons with the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8 (sometimes more, sometimes less), and in rare cases it was necessary to be perverted, umeschayas thumbs in the area with arrows and the “OK” button. Keys phones were designed for typing and moving the menu, but not for long gaming sessions. In the best case, such control was uncomfortable, and at worst — leave corn (heartfelt greetings figural buttons).

Because of this, did not develop the games themselves. Monochrome screens gave way to the colored, iron became relatively more powerful, and the gameplay remained at the level of the “Snake”. The most exciting projects was the platforming, which actually represent only scraps of what was on the NES (“Nes”) in the early 90s.

It turns out that the best entertainment on smartphones of that time was “Snake”, “the game where the gorilla throws barrels” and Space Invaders. More complex mechanics perverted push-button control, and about some experiments with 3D graphics and do not want to remember — is not alone. The only successful experiment was that Defined Gravity. There the player controls a motorcyclist, overcoming eerily twisting landscapes. A simple idea, which came to three-dimensional graphics (the awkwardness here — feature and not a problem) and used a keyboard control on full. But this game was no exception.

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Finally, in 2003, Nokia tried to re-invent mobile gaming with the “game phone” N-Gage. Quite powerful at the time the gadget was a terrible “Frankenstein’s monster” of a phone and a game console: all the same buttons scattered on the sides and the screen placed in the center. Serious games weighed too much to load them via expensive mobile Internet, so sold them — attention! — on the cartridges.

In the end, Nokia rather tried to make their own portable console, and not to change the mobile game. N-Gage has lived a miserable life and was “killed” way PSP by Sony that were cheaper and was portrayed as “the PlayStation 2 in your pocket”. In April 2008, Nokia has finally realized that N-Gage should be a service for all phones, not a specific device, and opened a store N-Gage 2.0. But this idea failed. And only the App Store started in July of the same year, a revolution, which dreamed of the Finnish company.

The dream of game developers

The iPhone had all the chances to become a sad page in the history of mobile devices like N-Gage, if not the most talented showman jobs. On the he “sold” the new journalists before, in fact, showed it in the hand, also began with that made fun of the smartphones of the time with their clumsy keyboards and styli. The success of the iPhone as a gaming platform due to the fact that he was never a “gaming device” — it was marketed as a phone for normal people who want to conveniently make phone calls, send SMS and email and stay online. Mobile games have become a Trojan horse device to Apple after a year they have captured the minds of millions, unsuspecting base of the iPhone and iPhone 3G.

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Initially, however, there were many clones “Snake” and free paraphrases of other games that were popular on other devices. But even with them it was different now: the store, which are guaranteed to all holders of phones, was a Paradise for game developers. All profits from sales exactly was it in his pocket (let’s share and left Apple), and initially piracy was not here at all. Accordingly, there was clear competition in the form of a tops sales and the motivation to do something more cool than the competition.

Then the Studio began to develop shareware payment model and in-game purchases, which was the most important innovation proposed by the “shop jobs”. Began to appear endless game, whose essence to kill time and maybe set a new record: fair or by purchasing a “dope” for real money. Even old-fashioned projects that can be completed, learned to lure free levels and earn more than ever — here we can recall the recent Super Mario Run. Shareware was previously mainly Korean MMO, and now most games on any platform is not without microtransactions. And everything is gone on the iPhone.

Of course, due to the fact the Apple smartphone seems to be a supervillain, but do not forget that the game industry is first and foremost a business, and very risky. “Purchase applications” also helped make it more stable and attractive to new talent.

Yes, it will be multitouch

Soon the platform came out of the game that are impossible to imagine without touch controls. That only is blockbuster Angry Birds — just think how uncomfortable it would be to pull the slingshot bird, pressing the button (even if you imagine that the game would be made step-by-step). Or here’s a popular genre of runners like Subway Surfers — seemingly primitive game, but they could become popular just for this hardware. Old smart phones just couldn’t handle drawing so many objects flying on the sides of the hero. Yes, a three-dimensional model can be replaced by a flat “sprites, but perhaps this picture captured players.

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And here we come to another revolution, which is called iPhone. It is, in fact, unified in what should be a smartphone: it’s just a rectangle with a screen on which you can push. This classic war edition PC clamshells and sliders have become a race of power: who’s got more cores and gigahertz, that’s right. And now, after several years, manufacturers began to produce the dialer, able without any difficulty to run ports of games from PlayStation 2 is still an amazing fact.

Now “brick” in your pocket learn how to start GTA San Andreas, children not previously razlichnye with computers for Minecraft, have started to engage in the cubic construction, and on the street and in schools. Phones ceased to be a niche, took the most popular with large platforms and parallel spawned its own subgenres, which, on the contrary, will not pick up from them. And even if we succeed, then the audience of such crafts on the computer or console is guaranteed to be in the tens if not hundreds of times less.

What is the result?

For several years, the mobile games industry has evolved from a rather pathetic niche if not a threat to console and computer markets, then at least a key player in the gaming industry. By 2016 mobile devices were the most profitable for developers. Further — more.

Yes and as shown the same 2016, the Studio still has not exhausted all applicable for this platform ideas. Smash-hit Pokemon GO, will combine and shareware model, and touch, and online component, and finally, augmented reality, is a vivid example.

It is impossible to predict what will happen next: maybe the next iPhone will come with a virtual reality helmet, and maybe the year that way in 2020 we will play “Airplane” with augmented reality, in folding simple origami their phones with bendable screens. One thing is clear: the revolution of the gaming industry now originates on mobile devices. So, they are the future.

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