Mobile Mavens

The Mobile Gaming Mavens on whether or not to support apps on Apple TV

Direct ports, or original content?

The Mobile Gaming Mavens on whether or not to support apps on Apple TV

The Mobile Mavens is our panel of experts drawn from all sectors of the mobile gaming industry.

With rumours flying around suggesting production has begun on a revised Apple TV platform, so speculation has mounted that the firm will unveil an app-equipped TV device at WWDC 2012 in San Francisco later in June.

And so, we asked the Mavens:

When Apple finally reveals its TV platform, will you support it by tweaking your existing apps, or will you treat it as a brand new technology, even if it supports iOS out-the-box?

Sandy Duncan CEO YoYo Games

Under Sandy’s leadership, YoYo Games has built an active GameMaker community 250,000-members strong while building partnerships with Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, and Valve that have helped it achieve 200 percent YOY growth in 2012.

Sandy’s previous experience includes a 17-year stint at Microsoft.

Easy for us - we'll do both if at's possible. We'll certainly use 99 percent of the same code between our games.

The secret sauce is GameMaker: Studio. I'd be surprised if it took us more than four weeks to create an Apple TV export option, even if the it doesn't run iOS apps.

Dave Castelnuovo Owner Bolt Creative

We'll probably see how it does first - although I still don't think they will be announcing an Apple TV anytime soon.

We didn't jump on the Mac App Store bandwagon when it was first released, and I expect the Apple TV App Store will be slightly less active than the Mac App Store. For us, our foreseeable future only includes iPhone, iPod, and iPad until something really shakes things up.

I think hype around these mythical Apple products is bad for Apple. Look at the launch of the 4S - all the rampant rumours about their being two devices, or a device with a larger screen caused Apple's stock to tank when it just came out with an upgraded iPhone 4.

The Apple TV rumours set a bad precedent where everyone is expecting this magic TV to be announced that changes the industry. If, in fact, Apple is not planning on coming out with a TV, the rumour mongering will hurt the public's perception of the company.

In the past Apple has claimed that it will not release a new product category unless it can transform that industry. I'm sure it is working on an Apple TV, but we have no idea whether the final product will actually be able to do that.

We've heard the stories about Apple not getting the deals it wants with content creators and it's entirely possible that the company couldn't get the types of deals it needs to transform the industry.

Although, we'll see if the post-jobs Apple will have the integrity to not release a product unless it has that magic Apple quality. That's even though the world expects a new product, purely because it's been a couple years since Apple released the iPad and they want another exciting story.

Oscar Clark Chief Strategy Officer Fundamentally Games

Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.

I agree that the speculation of possible products is a mixed bag, and it's certainly left me in the past feeling a little underwhelmed by otherwise perfectly good Apple product updates.

Apple TV as a smart television rather than a small box unit could be quite interesting as a consumer proposition, and assuming the experience is easy and it works nicely with existing content as well as other iOS devices could be very compelling.

However, this is a highly competitive space and TV apps will need to offer a very different experience than on a mobile device, or even a laptop or desktop machine. This isn't a personal experience - it's a shared screen.

The TV occupies considerable space and dedicated viewing within a family home - is Apple prepared for the differences in the mode-of-use of this device?

To me this is the key issue, and whether you use Sandy's tools or one of the others on the market, to my mind it's not about porting. We have to design the experience for the way it will be consumed and perhaps the skills of the console industry will find a new outlet for its creativity here.

The biggest question for me, if this rumour is true, will be to see how well the smart TV works with other devices. Using your iPhone, iPod or iPad as the controller for your TV screen, which is also connected to the cloud, could be another disruptive model, if Apple gets it right.

I'm just not sure (yet) that it will.

Will Luton Luton & Son Founder

The console industry is ripe for the taking. It's hurt itself by trying to maintain exorbitant retail prices with a poor digital delivery service and chasing the niche of self-identifying gamers.

A smart TV could come in and sweep it all away, offer better experience, price and a new type of content for the broad demographics that now play on mobile or the social web.

If or not that's Apple remains to be seen - the rumours are flying - but I believe it will come from someone. I'll be watching very closely, as smart TV is very much in Mobile Pie's future plans (will we have to change our name?).

My biggest interest is in what the control mechanism is - touch, a second device, voice, gesture, eye tracking...

Also, I hope it's soon - I've been putting off buying a TV upgrade for months now.

Oli Christie CEO Neon Play

It's worth noting what Jobs himself actually said: 

"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

So it looks like Apple will be launching an actual TV itself, whether it's at WWDC or another time.

There seem to be some clever smart TVs out there, but when Apple launches something, the world sits up and takes notice, and no doubt this will create a whole new genre.

It could end up scuppering the console industry, and I think for those of us in the mobile game space, it's an incredibly exciting time. Neon Play will definitely look to take its best and most relevant games to Apple TV when it happens.

Please let it be brilliant...

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.