Is Apple Outrunning Its Native Game Developers?

As a developer myself, I’m often lured into trying to become a ninja in native iOS game development. I say “often” because there’s always something new to deal with: iPads, taller iPhone screens, SpriteKit, Swift, Metal, the list goes on.

For many developers this no doubt adds the unending thrill of running alongside Apple and proudly showing their prowess with each new discipline. As an objective dev with a bit more of a neutral stance on Apple to begin with, I can’t help but wonder how they intend to keep the native developer community strong.

With each passing year, Unity gets more powerful, the UDK terms become more welcoming, and cross-platform development makes sense to the point that anything else becomes embarrassing. Earlier this year I completely rewrote a native app for a client in HTML, JavaScript, and some light AngularJS and shipped it using PhoneGap faster than I could have updated the app for the new Xcode. 

I understand Apple’s desire to continue both streamlining their development tools and increasing the low-level power they offer to devs. That said, they’ve reached a point where there is no Apple resource available to teach new developers their game dev tools and their new language at the same time, as of the time of writing. You can learn Swift from a massive book they make freely available or you can learn SpriteKit in Objective-C. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Realistically, I understand Apple is not incredibly vulnerable to a problem like this. Still, shouldn’t they act more concerned about all the great all-purpose tools out there threatening to divide the attention of iOS content creators?

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Todd Mitchell
Blogger-in-Chief at Code Write Play
Todd Mitchell is an independent game developer and industry commentator. He is the founder of CodeWritePlay and owner of Artistry Master Systems, Inc. Follow him @Mechatodzilla.

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