John Carmack spoke with Forbes about id Software's plans for the iPhone. Specifically, Carmack reveals that they have plans for an exclusive iPhone title:

"We have a title we want to develop exclusively for iPhone," he says. "I'm not announcing anything specifically, but it would be a graphical tour de force."

The president of id Mobile clarifies that this title will not represent brand new intellectual property and so will be based on one of their existing titles such as Doom, Quake, or Wolfenstein.

Carmack is also enthusiastic about the iPhone's ability to handle games that are larger than 10 MB. Traditional cell phone games typically fall around 300 KB in size. He also compares the iPhone's processing power as equivalent to the PS2 or original Xbox.

"The iPhone, as a device, is in the same generation power-wise as the PS2 or Xbox," he says. "The graphics are a little lower but the RAM is a lot higher. … You could easily spend $10 million on an iPhone game, but the market just can't support that yet."

  • Chris S

    Make the game and the market will handle it just fine.

  • Chris S

    Make the game and the market will handle it just fine.

  • arn

    I think what he's saying is it will be hard to get a $10 million investment back in an iPhone game. At least this early on.

    arn

  • arn

    I think what he's saying is it will be hard to get a $10 million investment back in an iPhone game. At least this early on.

    arn

  • http://www.jsayreallen.com Jonathan Allen

    It's impossible to tell at this point. The App Store has only been available for two weeks now. Give it until the after Christmas '08 to really tell how the App Store will perform. At that point we will have the holiday market as well as six months of use in the App Store. It will also show us the longevity of the best apps.

  • http://www.jsayreallen.com Jonathan Allen

    It's impossible to tell at this point. The App Store has only been available for two weeks now. Give it until the after Christmas '08 to really tell how the App Store will perform. At that point we will have the holiday market as well as six months of use in the App Store. It will also show us the longevity of the best apps.

  • Alfred

    NO, it's easy to tell: only 1 million phones sold, max of 1million possible sales.

  • Alfred

    NO, it's easy to tell: only 1 million phones sold, max of 1million possible sales.

  • arn

    well, 1 million iPhone 3Gs. There were several million original iPhones sold that will run the same apps.

  • arn

    well, 1 million iPhone 3Gs. There were several million original iPhones sold that will run the same apps.

  • Ryan

    High praise from Carmack. Pretty stinkin cool. I can't wait to see what they cook up.... "graphical tour de force" ftw.

  • Ryan

    High praise from Carmack. Pretty stinkin cool. I can't wait to see what they cook up.... "graphical tour de force" ftw.

  • Chris S

    Apple should really consider backing a real quality game that showcases the ability of the iphone/ipod touch as a serious handheld gaming platform.

    I don't think companies need to make a big advertising push for their games though and usually that's a big part of the expense that goes into a game.

    I suspect EA and Sega are doing quite well on their apps.

    I think companies need to not think of "how much will people pay for a phone game" and think "how much will people pay for a game". Come Christmas I think a LOT of kids will be asking for an iPod Touch.

    I'm very frugal. Middle class. Low 30's.

    I will pay for:
    Civilization type game up to ~$15.
    Doom/Quake/etc game up to ~$15.
    Sims type game up to ~$20.
    Good racing sim ~$15

    Now, I'm cheap. I did buy Mario Kart for the WII but it was a gift. I mostly buy games at less than the $20 price point for PS2, WII, and Computer.

    Every once in a while a game will come along that is simply exceptional and I will pay more.

    I'm also in the market for an SSH client for the Ipod. I will pay something but most likely less than $10 for it.

    I would also love netflix to open up the device for members to watch online videos over wifi and lastly I would like beyond tv to come out with a remote like feature such as the one that came out for mythtv. Would I pay for these? Maybe.

    My kids would enjoy webkinz on it...I might too.

  • Chris S

    Apple should really consider backing a real quality game that showcases the ability of the iphone/ipod touch as a serious handheld gaming platform.

    I don't think companies need to make a big advertising push for their games though and usually that's a big part of the expense that goes into a game.

    I suspect EA and Sega are doing quite well on their apps.

    I think companies need to not think of "how much will people pay for a phone game" and think "how much will people pay for a game". Come Christmas I think a LOT of kids will be asking for an iPod Touch.

    I'm very frugal. Middle class. Low 30's.

    I will pay for:
    Civilization type game up to ~$15.
    Doom/Quake/etc game up to ~$15.
    Sims type game up to ~$20.
    Good racing sim ~$15

    Now, I'm cheap. I did buy Mario Kart for the WII but it was a gift. I mostly buy games at less than the $20 price point for PS2, WII, and Computer.

    Every once in a while a game will come along that is simply exceptional and I will pay more.

    I'm also in the market for an SSH client for the Ipod. I will pay something but most likely less than $10 for it.

    I would also love netflix to open up the device for members to watch online videos over wifi and lastly I would like beyond tv to come out with a remote like feature such as the one that came out for mythtv. Would I pay for these? Maybe.

    My kids would enjoy webkinz on it...I might too.

  • Chris S

    It's probably worth noting that my market is probably limited on the second game in any category so being first is going to be a good move.

    Oh...and EA...bring back Legacy of the Ancients. I love that game and will gladly fork over $5 for it.

    -Chris

  • Chris S

    It's probably worth noting that my market is probably limited on the second game in any category so being first is going to be a good move.

    Oh...and EA...bring back Legacy of the Ancients. I love that game and will gladly fork over $5 for it.

    -Chris

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  • http://mattplays.com/ Matt Burris

    Chris S.: Apple did back a major game, that was Super Monkey Ball, and even though there's quite a learning curve with the controls and some complaints from customers, the game still sells because of all the free publicity the game got before the App Store launched.

    I don't see why Carmack needs to spend $10 million for an iPhone game. He can surely make $10 million as long as his game appeals to a broad audience and not another hardcore Doom-like game that appeals to the ... well, hardcore only.

    I'd easily buy whatever id puts out for the iPhone, as they have the chops and experience necessary to take full advantage of the iPhone and make sure it is fun. Even if it did cost $20 or something.

  • http://mattplays.com/ Matt Burris

    Chris S.: Apple did back a major game, that was Super Monkey Ball, and even though there's quite a learning curve with the controls and some complaints from customers, the game still sells because of all the free publicity the game got before the App Store launched.

    I don't see why Carmack needs to spend $10 million for an iPhone game. He can surely make $10 million as long as his game appeals to a broad audience and not another hardcore Doom-like game that appeals to the ... well, hardcore only.

    I'd easily buy whatever id puts out for the iPhone, as they have the chops and experience necessary to take full advantage of the iPhone and make sure it is fun. Even if it did cost $20 or something.

  • lightcatcher

    also millions of iPod touches

  • lightcatcher

    also millions of iPod touches

  • MacTheSpoon

    Oooo, he's such a tease! Can't wait to see what they come up with...

  • MacTheSpoon

    Oooo, he's such a tease! Can't wait to see what they come up with...

  • G_

    arn, Alfred There is also some milions of ipods touch which could run these apps as well.

  • G_

    arn, Alfred There is also some milions of ipods touch which could run these apps as well.

  • http://www.cyclelogicpress.com Partners in Grime

    Too bad Apple doesn't break out the iPod touch figures. I bet they sold a boatload of them with the back-to-school special. Would be interesting to hear how many copies of Super Monkey Ball sold.

  • http://www.cyclelogicpress.com Partners in Grime

    Too bad Apple doesn't break out the iPod touch figures. I bet they sold a boatload of them with the back-to-school special. Would be interesting to hear how many copies of Super Monkey Ball sold.

  • bloc party

    chris - a civ type game would be amazing. I really hope the big dev houses take a chance with some more in depth "long play" games. The hardware can handle it and I think consumers want it.

    I for one am tired of fps games, so I doubt this I.d.game will interest me.

  • bloc party

    chris - a civ type game would be amazing. I really hope the big dev houses take a chance with some more in depth "long play" games. The hardware can handle it and I think consumers want it.

    I for one am tired of fps games, so I doubt this I.d.game will interest me.

  • ReDrUm

    how about releasing commander keen! :D

  • ReDrUm

    how about releasing commander keen! :D

  • Constable Odo

    A lot of MS people are going to be insulted by this guy saying that an iPhone is on par with the power of an XBox.

    There is still one thing I don't understand. I keep hearing people say that the games for WinMo and BlackBerry handsets are better than the games on the iPhone. Anyone agree with this being true? What about the comparison to a Nintendo DS. Are the quality of games on the DS better than what's on the iPhone currently?

  • Constable Odo

    A lot of MS people are going to be insulted by this guy saying that an iPhone is on par with the power of an XBox.

    There is still one thing I don't understand. I keep hearing people say that the games for WinMo and BlackBerry handsets are better than the games on the iPhone. Anyone agree with this being true? What about the comparison to a Nintendo DS. Are the quality of games on the DS better than what's on the iPhone currently?

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  • http://www.w00master.com w00master

    @Constable Odo
    "There is still one thing I don’t understand. I keep hearing people say that the games for WinMo and BlackBerry handsets are better than the games on the iPhone. Anyone agree with this being true?"

    I've not heard this personally, but it could be because the iPhone "platform" is so young and game developers haven't had time (yet) to develop "flagship" titles yet.

    "What about the comparison to a Nintendo DS. Are the quality of games on the DS better than what’s on the iPhone currently?"

    Yes, *much* better. iPhone has a *very* long way to go before anyone can even begin to make any sort of comparison to the Nintendo DS (or even PSP).

  • http://www.w00master.com w00master

    @Constable Odo
    "There is still one thing I don’t understand. I keep hearing people say that the games for WinMo and BlackBerry handsets are better than the games on the iPhone. Anyone agree with this being true?"

    I've not heard this personally, but it could be because the iPhone "platform" is so young and game developers haven't had time (yet) to develop "flagship" titles yet.

    "What about the comparison to a Nintendo DS. Are the quality of games on the DS better than what’s on the iPhone currently?"

    Yes, *much* better. iPhone has a *very* long way to go before anyone can even begin to make any sort of comparison to the Nintendo DS (or even PSP).

  • http://www.myspace.com/heyynick Nick K

    I love ID, always pushing it to the next level

  • http://www.myspace.com/heyynick Nick K

    I love ID, always pushing it to the next level

  • 3DeeNut

    John Carmack FTW!

    OMG Q3DM17 iphone style! I can just see me and my buddies fighting till the batteries die. I cant wait to be blasting buddies with Rockets to the face coming off jumpers... S I C K is all i can say. Make it happen already i need my fix!

  • 3DeeNut

    John Carmack FTW!

    OMG Q3DM17 iphone style! I can just see me and my buddies fighting till the batteries die. I cant wait to be blasting buddies with Rockets to the face coming off jumpers... S I C K is all i can say. Make it happen already i need my fix!

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  • Eric

    this is the article I first seen, just bumping it up since theres so many quake threads being made

  • Eric

    this is the article I first seen, just bumping it up since theres so many quake threads being made

  • Brian

    Wow, looking back at those comments from only a few months ago is interesting, how wrong most of them turned out to be.

    Three hundred million downloads, that's two million downloads a day averaged out over every day since the App store opened, how many are games?

    Take a look at the quality of the titles being released now.

  • Brian

    Wow, looking back at those comments from only a few months ago is interesting, how wrong most of them turned out to be.

    Three hundred million downloads, that's two million downloads a day averaged out over every day since the App store opened, how many are games?

    Take a look at the quality of the titles being released now.

  • Sam

    i don't understand what ID is! it may sound stupid, anyone tell me?

  • Sam

    i don't understand what ID is! it may sound stupid, anyone tell me?

  • allcaps

    Just bumping this thread to ask if anyone know anything new about the status of the development of mentioned 'tour de force'? Google isn't showing much so I doubt there is any news.

  • allcaps

    Just bumping this thread to ask if anyone know anything new about the status of the development of mentioned 'tour de force'? Google isn't showing much so I doubt there is any news.