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Success of iPhone games makes developers rethink their approach

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Travis Boatman, head of Electronic Arts’ iPhone game business. Credit: Robert Durell / For The Times

Only a few years ago, bigger guns, badder enemies and louder explosives mattered most in video games.

Now, small is beautiful, and Apple Inc.'s iPhone is largely responsible.

The surprising emergence of the iPhone and its phone-less sibling, the iPod Touch, as hand-held game consoles has started to change the dynamics of the $40-billion game software industry. In addition to making titles for the iPhones, publishers are studying the thousands of games already available, figuring out what works and applying those lessons to more traditional games.

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After years of building large, graphics-intensive blockbusters that come out every few years, developers are starting to make shorter, less expensive games that are released in more frequent installments. They’re also making iPhone versions of major franchises that tie into the version for the console or computer.

‘The iPhone has changed everything,’ said Neil Young, a game developer who last year left one of the industry’s largest publishers, Electronic Arts Inc., to found Ngmoco:), a San Francisco maker of iPhone games.

Read the full story about iPhone games here.

-- Alex Pham


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