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Apple (finally) getting its game on?

Source: See below.

The official story: Apple had not returned requests for comment as of press time.

What we heard: Of all the products on the market, few engender as much fanatical loyalty as the iPod. Sony was clearly hoping for something similar when it introduced the sleek PlayStation Portable in March of last year, touting that it played games and video, while the iPod didn't.

Last October, Apple removed one of those advantages when it launched the fifth-generation video iPods. Since then, speculation has swirled that the Silicon Valley company is readying an iPod that could play things other than Brick and Parachute, two of the rudimentary games that come with the ubiquitous handhelds.

This week, GameSpot learned that there may be more to the Apple-game rumors than mere Mac-mad daydreams. A tech-sector recruiter contacted the GS NewsDesk with an interesting story of a prospective hire that got away. Recently, when the recruiter made an offer to a software engineer, the engineer turned the offer down--saying he was being "heavily recruited by Apple."

According to the engineer, an Apple hiring manager named Mike Lampell is heading up a group inside Apple's storied iTunes division. The group is specifically hiring for "C/C++ coders with a 'gaming background.'" The engineer says the project in question was described to him as "super secret," and Apple would not even tell him the exact nature of it until he had been hired and signed a non-disclosure agreement.

So how credible is this story? The recruiter's credentials are beyond reproach, leaving the engineer as the wild card. Currently, Apple is only publicly listing one position with "game" in the job title, a "Consumer & Games Partnership Manager" in its Santa Clara, California offices. Strangely though, when one searches for a position with "game" in its description on Apple's job-listing database, no results come up--even though the Consumer & Games Partnership Manager position has the word "game" in the text. A fairly exhaustive review of the software engineer positions found none looking for game experience.

However, the mention of Lampell gives the story some credibility. Lampell is a known developer who used to work at LucasArts, where he was a technical director on several major projects, including Star Wars Republic Commando. Lampell was laid off in August 2004 when LucasArts culled its development department in the first of a series of cost-cutting measures. However, GameSpot could not confirm his current employment at Apple, since attempts to elicit comment from the company had gone unanswered as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: If Apple is doing game R&D, it sure is doing a good job keeping it quiet.

Category: Bulletin
Posted by thorsen-ink, May 26, 2006 5:13 pm PT   392 Comments

Comments

yboucher

Posted May 26, 2006 5:29 pm PT

Oh man... would be sweet if we could start developing for the iPod ! Do a few ports of our mobile games to the iPod !!

grnidbandit

Posted May 26, 2006 5:30 pm PT

sounds good to me,apple is a great company, hope this is true

justlp87

Posted May 26, 2006 5:31 pm PT

Microsoft did it, why not Apple.

DrKill09

Posted May 26, 2006 5:33 pm PT

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

UMCP

Posted May 26, 2006 5:35 pm PT

Great... APple is now jumping into Gaming business? Ipod is goign to be a handheld system? perfect.

RunnerGunner480

Posted May 26, 2006 5:36 pm PT

i dont like Ipods, its a bangwagon of bad technology

akpc1

Posted May 26, 2006 5:36 pm PT

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

scroot82

Posted May 26, 2006 5:37 pm PT

its good to see Apple spreading into some new areas

Burning_October

Posted May 26, 2006 5:37 pm PT

It would be pretty cool if Apple would release some games for the iPod. What would be really cool is if Apple released a game console. It would be just like every other game console out there, except it would be as thin as a piee of paper, and it would have no buttons, just little touch activated dots.

AlbertPerk

Posted May 26, 2006 5:38 pm PT

Apple obviously knows what they're doing guys. Look at the iPod. It's literally taking over the United States as the mass media mp3 product. If they enter the gaming industry with games for the iPod they will surely be a force to be reconed with and will demand to be respected.

cire

Posted May 26, 2006 5:39 pm PT

It would be nice to get some decent games for Mac users.

Carnage143

Posted May 26, 2006 5:39 pm PT

Actually apple is far superior to PC's in the Multimedia aspect such and 3D Graphic Design, Video Editing, Music Editing. Granted they don't have a lot of game support. Macs I guess you can say is more of a "professional computer" because people who have them generally use them for their form of business and no just, the internet, games, and porn.

gameloverx

Posted May 26, 2006 5:42 pm PT

well i can't wait for Apple entering the gaming fray

Mobius007

Posted May 26, 2006 5:42 pm PT

no wai

rock790

Posted May 26, 2006 5:43 pm PT

Not a big deal to hardcore gamers. nothing i would want to play would be on an apple machine.

xs101uk

Posted May 26, 2006 5:43 pm PT

It'll be nice to see the Apple Company spreading itself out slowly. It did wonders for the Portable Music industry with the iPod. Perhaps this slow integration into the broader mass market will help the game industry as well? Can't wait to see some games on the Apple besides WoW and Starcraft.

As well, for those who are saying Mac's suck obviously didn't read the article properly or at all. They are talking about portable gaming not the Mac's.

xs101uk

Posted May 26, 2006 5:45 pm PT

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

VERTIGO47

Posted May 26, 2006 5:47 pm PT

Could this spell doom for Nintendo's handheld reign?

Ipods are what made Apple on top, aside from thier stylish Macs and Powerbooks. But what would happen if Apple does develop a stylish handheld type Ipod that can play games, music, and video?

Would it dethrone Nintendo's DS and GBA dominance?
Sounds scary to even think about it.

chupamiubre

Posted May 26, 2006 5:48 pm PT

well apple can keep a secret bter than the goverment but i think bogus

Donkeljohn 

Posted May 26, 2006 5:51 pm PT

I can't say anything other than. . . "it's true."

Basinboy

Posted May 26, 2006 5:55 pm PT

T'will be interesting. Apple hasn't done a lot of gaming and though they might be able to make a good platform, it means squat if you can't get anybody to develop for it. MS has shown struggle trying to get their Xbox brand off the ground and they've spent loads to get the support they've got. The best I see coming out of this is either a small developing subsidiary branch within Apple that develops games for the iPod primarily. I wouldn't expect any sort of Apple console anytime soon.

sushi_111

Posted May 26, 2006 5:56 pm PT

I hope not. Nothing against apple or anything, but we really dont need another game company.

mark_unix

Posted May 26, 2006 5:56 pm PT

i know something you all don't
hé hé hé,

NeoJedi

Posted May 26, 2006 5:58 pm PT

Apple jumping into the game market now? Very interesting...

The1stFishBone

Posted May 26, 2006 5:59 pm PT

just what we need dumbed down easy games for the grandparents

crash112492

Posted May 26, 2006 6:00 pm PT

ipod games that would be hot but i wonder what the graphics would be?? w0Ot

Manatassi

Posted May 26, 2006 6:01 pm PT

Macs are great machines (I'm currently typing this on one) the only drawback sofar has been the lack of games support. Altho I havent required it as I find consoles ie the 360 are more my cup of tea (apart from WOW but thats on the mac anyway) not so sure if apple have the right stuff to break into the portable gaming market. I would be a little more interested if they pushed somthing more interesting on the Mac format. There dosent seem to be much room for another contender in the handheald market as the gizmondo and ngage have done little to show any way of entering as an unproven gaming comany.

Mabey if Apple did a little more about pushing games being released on Macs then I would have a little more faith in their ability to enter the games market on a mobile front.

Looking at the article I should think they are either planing somthing re games for the Mac in the next big update, especialy seeing how focused Microsoft are becoming on gaming as the future of PC use with vista, to Mac OSX or its bogus.

doomed51

Posted May 26, 2006 6:02 pm PT

im sick of iPOD it stinks

Superstan

Posted May 26, 2006 6:03 pm PT

what do you know we dont know?

trancejeremy

Posted May 26, 2006 6:05 pm PT

The only time Apples were even remotely good for games was back in the IIe era. That said, I wouldn't be surprised to see some more game ability added to the ipod, somewhere between GBA and cell phone quality.

cloudstrife75

Posted May 26, 2006 6:07 pm PT

people who say Apple sucks dont know anything about technology.

Apples are by far the most stable and most efficent computer out there. Way better then the PC. But not everyone owns a Mac, which is why no one develops for it.

Blazer88

Posted May 26, 2006 6:07 pm PT

Cool I guess.Never used an Apple so I can't say anything bad or good about them.

Shtinky

Posted May 26, 2006 6:08 pm PT

they must have saw the popularity of xbox live arcade and saw how nintendo were positioning Wii's virtual console as an iTunes like game equivalent and saw the opportunity.

letsgetacid

Posted May 26, 2006 6:09 pm PT

Don't expect the Ipod to become a handheld gaming machine. I imagine it going to go the route of cell phone games; small and simple. Making it as powerful as the PSP (or DS for that matter) isn't what's going to happen.

NinjaFoot

Posted May 26, 2006 6:10 pm PT

I shall chalk this up in my "Big Deal" column. Who really cares about playing games on an ipod anyway?

blackIceJoe

Posted May 26, 2006 6:13 pm PT

that sounds neat I wonder how it will turn out.

comthitnuong

Posted May 26, 2006 6:15 pm PT

haha yea right

Alunanite

Posted May 26, 2006 6:18 pm PT

Oh yeah the iPod stinks and sucks. Thats why *everyone* has one.

gjb-sensei

Posted May 26, 2006 6:20 pm PT

I hope Apple gets into gaming. I'd likely get an "iGame"; not so much an "Xboy" from Microsoft, though.

ttttoooogggg

Posted May 26, 2006 6:22 pm PT

Only a very few factors is "inviting" me to jump on the iPod way, let's see how this one goes but I wouldnt be surprised if Steve introduces, an iPod with a touch screen + analog stick and WiFi for the ultimate enjoyment on the go.

tykettovz

Posted May 26, 2006 6:24 pm PT

Apple getting into games would be a good thing. More competition means more innovation means better all around for games.

As for people who post such thoughtful comments as "Macs suck," they really need to grow the hell up. Macs are excellent computers for a variety of reasons, number one being security and lack of viruses. FIne, you like PCs. Me, I like a computer that works, so I use Mac. Many modern technologies on PCs started on Mac (Just as the so-called Vista is nothing more than a sorry attempt at copying OS X).

Macs are great game machines, it's just that there's not a lot of games made for it. I think there's many reasons for this (development costs, smaller market share, etc.) but also, most Mac owners are 1.) more educated; 2.) have more money; and 3.) are creative types. We don't use our Macs for games, we use it to do work and use programs like the iLife applications. If we want to play a game, we pull out the Gamecube, Xbox, etc.

iPod as a game unit could work. Knowing Apple and its innovation, I'd guess if this is true, it will be something nobody really saw coming. Think Wii, but on an iPod or something. Apple hasn't updated the iPod in way too long... whatever is coming down the pike will be a huge shake up.

Microsoft1234

Posted May 26, 2006 6:29 pm PT

the only thing people (public) know apple for is their ipod, macs died ages ago

elessartelrunya

Posted May 26, 2006 6:36 pm PT

I'll stick to my PSP. There really isnt enough room for more handheld gaming devices. We have cell phones, the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP...thats plenty.

Maui00

Posted May 26, 2006 6:38 pm PT

sounds interesting

gt4freak1985

Posted May 26, 2006 6:42 pm PT

macs are crap for gaming. exspensive as hell to upgrade. and the size of a agp 6800 is unbelieveable, its the size of tw0 7600gts in length. unless you got a intel based mac, they suck. i wont own a mac unless its amd powered, so basically never will i own a mack hahah! macs is for windows hating internet users and ipod itunes huggers who are so obsessed with apple white products. apple should just build pcs and add windows, the only good os is osx and its not compatible with xp games so why buy a mac? macs are not for gamers!

fmprodguy

Posted May 26, 2006 6:44 pm PT

instert eye roll here

alberto2045

Posted May 26, 2006 6:47 pm PT

soooooooooo............

Platyphyllum

Posted May 26, 2006 6:50 pm PT

Hmmm....I hope they concentrate a lot on games and it won't be a failure like the N-Gage

Oni

Posted May 26, 2006 6:51 pm PT

lol@Apple and @Apple fanboys. You guys are almost as bad as all those raving Nintendoods ... well, that's a bit harsh. You guys are up there though

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