It looks like iOS devices may be getting some more star power from the games industry.
The majority of the big hits on portable devices such as smartphones have come from independent or small developers like Rovio with Angry Birds. The number of big developers making games for smartphones, however, has increased over the years especially with the high profile release of Infinity Blade by Epic Games and Chair Entertainment.
It looks like that recent trend is going to continue. Andriasang is reporting that Hironobu Sakaguchi recently commented on Twitter that he was making three iOS games. While Sakaguchi is a household name among gamers, those who just got into gaming through the iPhone may know him better as the creator of Final Fantasy. Sakaguchi has been involved with every major Final Fantasy release from the original to Final Fantasy X. More recently, he has been working on RPGs with his new company Mistwalker where they have made contemporary hits like Lost Odyssey and The Last Story.
If ridiculous hair, big swords and soliloquies on the meaning of life are not your thing, Rockstar Games will be bringing the original Max Payne to iOS devices as well. The news was revealed during a Rockstar Q&A posted on their Web site. Rockstar’s conversion of Grand Theft Auto III for the iPad seemed to do well for the developer, so Max Payne should be a solid conversion.
One final thing that should get mobile gamers excited is that Tim Schafer will be bringing Double Fine’s new adventure game to smart devices. We reported on the developers successful Kickstarter project that aimed to raise $400,000 but has since raised more than $2 million.
I know that I’ve been unfairly critical of smartphone gaming over the years as the games have generally proven to be not as sophisticated as the games I have been playing over the past 20 years. With these announcements, it may finally get me into playing games on a tablet or smartphone.
For that to happen though, I’m going to need something better than shoddy touchscreen controls. Maybe somebody will make a tablet with a controller that features physical buttons so games not specifically built for touchscreens don’t control like trash.