GameClub Plans to Resurrect iOS Games Abandoned in the Wake of Apple’s Hardware and Software Advances

Last month, the editor-in-chief of MacRumors sister site TouchArcade, Eli Hodapp, announced that he planned to step down from overseeing the iOS gaming site to focus on a new venture. This week, Hodapp has provided more detail about his move to GameClub, a startup that plans to preserve premium mobile games in the wake of Apple's ongoing updates to the iPhone and iPad, which leave many classic games unplayable on modern devices.


As Hodapp explained on TouchArcade, Apple's frequent updates to the iPhone have caused ongoing problems for iOS developers on older App Store games. The first of these major issues hit during the release of the iPhone 4 in 2010 and its introduction of an increased resolution, which meant all developers needed to update their games with higher resolution textures.

While some developers decided to do this, others couldn't justify spending time and money to modernize their games. Of course, this issue grew exponentially worse with the introduction of iOS 11 in 2017, bringing with it the removal of all 32-bit apps from the iOS App Store. TouchArcade kept an ongoing list of every 32-bit app that was no longer supported with iOS 11, including the TouchArcade app itself.
Throughout this process, I started to realize that, entirely by accident, TouchArcade had become this weird museum of the glory days of iOS gaming. Loads of games that passionate developers were excited to release to a hungry customer base now only exist in TouchArcade reviews, or TA Plays videos.

We’ve grumped about this a bunch, in multiple editorials, too many episodes of the podcast to count, a near infinite number of Tweets, and basically every other place you can air a grievance online. These complaints were often framed around, “I wish someone would do something," or “Why isn’t anyone doing anything," as our digital history vanished like a photo of the McFlys.
Now, Hodapp is leaving TouchArcade to address this issue with GameClub, a developer with the intent to bring the best of these forgotten and unplayable iOS games back to life. To achieve this, GameClub will handle all of the updates, ongoing maintenance, and support for each game, in essence becoming the new developer of the game.

These refurbished games will then be added into the GameClub library of games accessible by players. At this time, GameClub isn't disclosing the payment model that will be available to customers, but the company has stated that more news about the pricing structure will come later. The first announced title is Rocketcat Games' Hook Champ, which released in 2009.


Those interested can head to GameClub's website to sign up for early access to the beta program. Invites will start to go out on Monday, March 11. Hodapp also provided more details about vanishing App Store games in a piece shared on gamesindustry.biz.


This article, "GameClub Plans to Resurrect iOS Games Abandoned in the Wake of Apple's Hardware and Software Advances" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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TouchArcade Goes Hands-On With Devolver Digital’s Upcoming iOS Game ‘Reigns: Game of Thrones’

Our sister site TouchArcade this week went hands-on with the just-announced iOS game "Reigns: Game of Thrones." For those unaware, "Reigns" is a series of games created by Devolver Digital that tasks players with making important monarchical decisions using a simple left swipe and right swipe mechanic.

The first two games in the series [Direct Links: Reigns and Reigns: Her Majesty] focused on generic characters in medieval and renaissance eras. Now the developer has partnered with HBO to meld the "Reigns" gameplay mechanics with characters, events, and locations from "Game of Thrones" and George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series as a whole.

In "Reigns: Game of Thrones," players take the viewpoint of a character gazing into the flames of the Red Priestess Melisandre, witnessing the potential outcome of events without those events specifically tying into plot points from the books and HBO series.


As TouchArcade points out, this enhances "Reigns: Game of Thrones," since it gives fans of the fantasy series numerous "what if" scenarios to watch play out:
This allows them to utilize the Game of Thrones universe and its associated characters while having plot lines in the game that are best described as “zany," in a good way- With many “what if" scenarios, like exploring what would happen if Sansa Stark married Jamie Lannister.
Unlike previous "Reigns" titles, the Game of Thrones spinoff tasks you with controlling numerous point-of-view characters instead of just one king or one queen. These include well-known Game of Thrones characters like Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon, Cersei, and more, with each character needing to manage relationships with the military, church, public, and all facing negative status effects and even potential death.


TouchArcade explains that watching your decisions play out leads to a fun gameplay experience, for both Game of Thrones fans and non-fans:
The interesting thing about the way this game is written is that if you know Game of Thrones, Reigns: Game of Thrones will be like main lining fan service. If you don’t know Game of Thrones, it’ll be just as enjoyable as any other Reigns games, you might just not understand some references (or the significance of some of the events).
For more coverage, be sure to read Eli Hodapp's full hands on with "Reigns: Game of Thrones" over at TouchArcade. Those interested can pre-order the game on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] for $3.99, ahead of its launch on October 18. It'll also be available on Android and Steam.


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Valve Removes Game Purchasing Option From Steam Link in Hopes of App Store Approval

A few weeks after Apple rejected Valve's planned Steam Link app due to App Store review guideline violations related to in-app purchases, among other things, the company has made a key change to the app in hopes of getting it approved.


Namely, in the latest beta version of Steam Link on TestFlight, Valve has removed the option to purchase games within the app. Instead, the app now informs users that games are available to purchase on a PC, or Mac, according to Eli Hodapp, editor-in-chief of MacRumors sister website TouchArcade.
Moments ago, Valve pushed out an updated version of the Steam Link app to TestFlight testers which […] removed the ability to buy anything through the actual app itself. When you connect to your PC via the Steam Link app and browse the store, the button you used to be able to push to buy things has been changed to say "Available to purchase from your PC."
Shortly after Steam Link was rejected, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller explained that it had "discussed these issues with Valve" and would "continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and Apple TV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines," in an email shared by MacStories.

Steam Link app now says games are available to purchase on PC

Steam Link, unveiled early last month, will allow users to stream Steam games to an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV from a Mac or PC via a 5GHz Wi-Fi network or a wired Ethernet connection. The app, originally set to launch May 21, will include support for both the Steam Controller and Made for iPhone controllers.

In his hands-on last month, Hodapp said the app works so well that "it feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all."
If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.
Valve hasn't specified when it will resubmit Steam Link to Apple for reconsideration, and it remains to be seen if the change will satisfy Apple's guidelines, but it sounds like the app is one step closer to being released on the App Store.


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