Apple 'has no game plan'

Apple 'has no game plan'
Michael French

By Michael French

January 17th 2008 at 3:22PM

Despite courting select developers Mac and iPod firm lacks games strategy, say analysts

This week's Macworld expo has snared headlines thanks to the introduction of 'the world's thinnest notebook', but despite an announcement from EA that Will Wright's long-awaited Spore will have a simultaneous Mac and PC release, analysts are saying Apple still lacks a real strategy for the games industry.

Apple has recently ramped up the games offering for its scroll-wheel based iPods, turning to Sega and Hudson for ports of Sonic and Bomberman and turning to famed independents Harmonix and NaNaOn-Sha for original music-based titles Phase and Musik.

This shouldn't be taken as a sign that the firm has intentions for better games industry activity, say watchers.

Speaking to GameDaily, David Cole of DFC Intelligence said: "To me they just don't seem to have a high-end game strategy. They seem to feel they don't need that consumer.

"As far as the Mac, I just don't see it being a major option for a serious gamer and that is a reason, despite it having a new found cool factor, I think they have decided to concede the hard-core gamer to Microsoft."

This may change soon, however, said Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets "Apple has not embraced video games as aggressively as have other platform manufacturers, but given the ongoing strong market growth it's difficult to imagine that they can remain on the sidelines for long. Particularly with the iPhone, Apple has an opportunity to drive increasing awareness and use of games and other digital media, where carriers and handset manufacturers have been slow to make progress."