Amongst the thousands of iPhone developers in 2009, the developer that single-handedly had the most dramatic impact on the App Store gaming scene has to be Gameloft. An international company with thousands of employees scattered throughout the world, Gameloft took an early interest in the iPhone. In March, 2008, three months before the official launch of the App Store, Gameloft pre-announced that they were working on 15 games for the platform. This early interest should have come as little surprise as they have built a business trying to deliver gaming to mobile handsets.
Most of their early 2008 titles ended up being ports of their existing mobile titles, but they must have done well enough during the first six months to decide to dedicate themselves full force into the iPhone scene in the following year. In 2009, Gameloft has released 35 games for the platform and most of those releases were amongst the most ambitious titles we’ve seen on the iPhone. And we cover Gameloft’s releases consistently, not just because they are a large publisher, but because their games are consistently interesting, of high quality, and technically impressive.
There’s always some detractors to Gameloft’s releases as many of their titles are clearly clones of popular console franchises. Our opinion is that Gameloft is successfully filling popular niches and adding much needed legitimacy to the iPhone/iPod Touch as a gaming platform. We suspect 3rd party interest by companies such as Rockstar and Epic Games is in part due to the massive success Gameloft has had in the iPhone space.