Apple’s Stan Ng on iPod game development

In an interview with iLounge today regarding secret cheat codes for Apple’s internally-developed games Vortex and Texas Hold’em, senior director of iPod product marketing Stan Ng also answered some questions on the current state of iPod internal and third-party game development. Prospective iPod game developers may be interested in the company’s focus on outside development, noted below.

iLounge: Apple hasn’t been known in the past for doing any sort of games of its own – only very rare titles for the [Mac] OS. Was this a new team put together for iPod games, or pre-existing staff?

Stan Ng: There is a team focused on iPod games, and they developed those two games. When we decided to do them internally, we looked at how we could leverage the incredible user interface of the iPod and create some games like Vortex that were just a lot of fun and unique to the iPod platform. So that was kind of the intent. The majority of the games are obviously coming from those third-party developers, and so the team is working with those third-party developers to get out the best titles.

iLounge: Have you heard from other companies at this point that are interested in making iPod games? We’ve been contacted by companies that have been interested in finding out whether they could make iPod games… Will the pool be expanding past the current four, or will you keep it where it is?

Stan Ng: The response from customers has been fantastic – they love the addition of games to the fifth-generation iPod… When we offered the games, we partnered with those four developers to offer some of the most popular games out there. Moving forward, you know we haven’t announced anything – as you know, our policy is not to talk about any of the future stuff that we’re doing – but we’re definitely encouraged by the developer community that’s come out to us and said, ‘hey, we love the iPod, we want to do things for it.’ So to answer your question, yes, we’ve heard from a lot of developers who are very interested in doing things for the iPod.

iLounge: We would love to see more developers – and more games – available. That’s one of those things about the iPod that distinguishes it from a lot – most – of the other digital media players that are out there right now.

Stan Ng: That’s great feedback. We always want to hear from customers to say ‘hey, we love what you’re doing and want to expand it further.’ That’s great fuel for us to go further, and go beyond.

Thanks to Mr. Ng and Apple Computer for the updates on iPod games and game development, which we’re excited to see continue in the future.

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