Tue, Aug 02, 2011 | 14:14 BST
Hawkins suggests casual devs practice platform agnosticism because iOS is “close to peaking”
Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins believes if Apple were to “support all of the web standards,” instead of maintain staunch control over it’s App Store along with continued insistence on using HTML5, the firm could be “the best at everything.”
Speaking with Edge in Bareclona during the Gamelab conference, Hawkins told the magazine Apple’s “very close” peaking and in order for the game studios which make a living off iOS devices to continue thriving, a “more open, democratic cross-platform stance,” should be implemented.
“Digital Chocolate’s games will always be in the App Store, but I think it would be an incredibly positive thing for the industry if Apple decided to support all of the web standards, because then Apple could be the best about everything,” said Hawkins, who back in the early 80s was director of strategy and marketing for Apple.
“Right now they make a conscious choice. They want you to be in the App Store rather than the browser, so they cripple the browser. They’ve created this outlet and they had to have an excuse to keep you there… Flash can actually make a really good game, and with HTML5 you can’t do that. But give HTML5 another few years to mature, and that could solve the problem. Or Apple could be more generous about deciding to support more de facto standards like Flash, or at least let it run its course.
“[Apple] invented this tablet thing that’s going to be really big. They’ve done really well by reinventing the phone. They breathed new life into the Mac. They’ve got this super-high marketing. All these things are about as good as they ever can be – how much better can it really get?
“The thing is, it may take another year or two before it starts to decline, but it has to – everything does. But you asked about developers and how they feel about the App Store platform. I think that if you really love a platform – it could be Apple, it could be Nintendo, it could be Facebook – and you’re really good at making things that are a perfect fit with the native programming requirements of that platform, then it’s okay to be on it and roll with the punches. You just have to get good at what that platform’s about, then you can survive.
“But if you want to be more successful, you have to be on more platforms, and you have to take a more open, democratic cross-platform stance.”
Hawkins’ Digital Chocolate makes games for PC, mobile, iOS, Facebook and console.