Apple Hiring Video Game Artist for iPhone Gaming Group!

Apple's job listings just got interesting again, with positions open for a Video Game Artist and a Software Engineer for the iPhone Gaming Group. That's right, "iPhone Gaming Group". It looks like that Game/Media Software Engineer position from last month wasn't a one off, and Apple is finally, seriously, getting into the game... game. (Sorry, but you saw that coming!)

For the artist:

The interactive media group is looking for a skilled artist who wants to work as part of a small highly motivated team to work on interactive multimedia experiences on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The position on the team is to help design, visualize, enable and implement interface, 3D characters/environments, animation, texturing as well as original concept artwork.

For the engineer:

The iPhone Games Group is looking for a proactive, highly motivated engineer with 5 + years experience, to share their expertise in application and framework development.

So, how about it? Sounds like a lot of firepower for "Texas Holdem' 2", doesn't it? Think we'll finally see some Sony or Nintendo caliber 1st party gaming coming out of Apple? And if so, what would they be? (Yeah, we're totally asking

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Hiring Video Game Artist for iPhone Gaming Group!


I think this is all a nice little distraction. Apple is going to come out with a full fledged game console to rival the Xbox and PS3.

This elicits many a thoughts from me.
For the iPod/iPhone end...I still don't see them being a major threat to Sony/Nintendo...because until they can offer at LEAST an attachment of sorts for hardware buttons (those shoulder buttons are very useful for most action/fighting games) it just won't be more than a "hobby".
As SaggyBalls has stated...if they are indeed making a console, I just don't see it at all for them. Simply for the reason that gaming consoles doesn't fit Apple. It wouldn't go well. Apple likes to keep tight control and lock out things.
Gaming consoles, unless they're exclusives, are very cross platform. Have an even larger dedicated/brand alliance to them. It just doesn't seem like a market the Jobs-ster would like or thrive in.
It seems like Jobs would go for a gaming platform with all exclusive content. And in the gaming industry, where exclusives are dwindling down each just doesn't go.
If they did make a system, and adhered to the normal route of gaming system, but put a twist on it like the Wii did...then hey. I'd actually be in line to buy it...

That lockdown loving somewhat hostile to 3rd party devs situation sounds familiar... Oh, yeah, that's Nintendo.

@iDavey You make valid points. But as far as what you said about exclusivity, I think the app store was a great way for them to test the waters. To find out just how much they can still maintain control when they let developers in by the masses. I for one would love to see and Apple game console. I don't like Mac computers, but I love every other device they put out there. We'll see.

See, we're total opposites, lmao. I only love iMacs. But everything else is a 'meh'. With a TOTAL hate for iPods (iPhone gets my nod...just personally, I hate the "have to jailbreak" mentality for basic customization or sideloading of apps).
But the App Store on mobile devices and gaming consoles are two different things. I just don't think you can introduce a gaming system then say "Well we're only going to let certain games on...and only those games. And they won't be anywhere else".
Gaming just doesn't work like that when you're talking full fledged home consoles.
But we shall see, things might change. I I said, if they pull it off and make a fantastic gaming console. Then kudos, I'll be in line for it as long as it has the games I like.
But for right now I just can't see it.

iPhone needs a peripheral adapter with analog joystick, D-pads, shoulder buttons, extra battery etc. That is if it is to make a major move into the handheld game market. I see great promise in the iPhone or iPod Touch as a gaming device but so far my experience has been lack lustre.
The multi touch screen is definately suited to certain genres, but thumbs or fingers blocking valuable screen space holds it back in many others.
This article seems to indicate Apple is going to develop games, hopefully they hire a talented team and allow them to work without too many Apple constraints. I do wonder if these positions have something to do with mythical iTablet.
Personally I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in Apple's abilty to create decent games, although I used to love the paper airplane game on the old school B&W Macintosh.

Awesome, it'll be interesting to see what Apple can produce for the gaming world, just wish i had the tech skills and knowledge to apply for the job! Bet it would be great to work for Apple

Console? Doubt it. As a business Apple makes 30%+ margin on their hardware. I don't see them getting into a business where they sell a console at a loss only to make up the revenue on software. That's just not their style.
Perhaps they're looking at their new iPad Tablet and think that it needs some games to go along with iTunes and Magazine/Newspaper subscriptions. Plus, I wouldn't be shocked if they come out with a bluetooth controller for it as well, which could be re-purposed for the iPhone, AppleTV and the Mac, since accelerometer-based games would not work as well on a Tablet with a 10"+ screen.

@The Reptile Apple has much more room in terms of pricing. They have shown time and time again that they can put a price on something and people will pay it. There is no way that they're putting together a team, and bringing in outside help nonetheless, to create games for the app store, no way. I'm not saying that they are making a console, how could I really know that, I'm saying they have something up their sleeve. Let's just go over a few key point that suggests Apple is up to something more than developing iFart games.

  1. Apple hired Richard Teversham from the entertainment division of Microsoft. The 15-year Microsoft vet most recently headed strategy for the Xbox group in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
  2. That’s on the heels of hiring Bob Dreblin, the creator of Nintendo’s Game Cube CPU, from AMD, as well as former top IBM chip design manager Mark Papermaster, and former AMD graphics chip CTO Raja Koduri.

This is incredibly out of step for Apple, which has generally looked to getting chips from traditional suppliers. In fact, some years ago I wrote a piece about the iPod design chain, because most of the hardware design was done by others, with Apple using their reference design and adding the industrial engineering and interface. But to hire people at the top of the chip designing game is hardly business as usual. There is something big brewing at Apple.

  1. a. Patent applications. First up, application 20080076495, titled “Allowing Media and Gaming Environments to Effectively Interact and/or Affect Each Other.” It’s about having gaming and media environments really interacting.
    b. Then there is the February 2008 patent application 20080052704, “Media Management System for Management of Games Acquired from a Media Server.” This is all about incorporating downloadable games into a super iTunes system.
    c. In January 2008, Apple also submitted patent application 20080018616, “Techniques for Interactive Input to Portable Electronic Devices” – a little dry sounding unless you start reading the contents.
    d. In December 2007, there was also application 20070279394, “Techniques for Interactive Input to Portable Electronic Devices,” which also discussed more intuitive ways of interactive with a game using a touchscreen.

Long winded, I know, sorry. But all of this is not consistent with Apple merely creating games for the app store.

lets be honest here, Apple isnt gonna get into the console business here, whatever they ARE planning is most likely for mobile gaming and are looking to expand on this.
If we look at Apple, they dont have the foundations for console gaming currently. If they made a console, its going to be priced high. Gamers will not pay that price, (see PS3 and how it fared at its exorbitant prices, and how the sales shot thru the roof when its price dropped significantly) and we know Apple isnt going to sell for cheap.
If they did move into the gaming world, they would need to court every developer that is on almost every on console to come to them (sans first party GD)on an unproven system. Microsoft did the exact same thing and it cost them BILLIONS to do so, and only now are they starting to see the rewards.

@ddx You were the same guy back in '06 saying that Apple would never get into the mobile phone market. Apple has a history of doing stuff that turns niches on their heads. If they see something that they think they can improve upon, they do it, and they do it big. I don't know what they're doing, and neither do you.
And what do you mean they don't have the foundation for console gaming. I just gave you a bunch of examples of how they are, in fact, building a solid foundation for the gaming market.
Lastly, how can you say Apple would have to court every developer? They already have them developing for the iPod and iPhone.

I agree with almost everything you said to DDX.
But the main difference between courting developers for iPod/iPhone and a home takes LOAD more money to make those games. It also has a higher sell point to break just even. So that's what he could mean. Making a profit on mobile devices aren't that hard. But for a home console'll have to sell a WHOLE lot.