“Few could have predicted the meteoric rise of King, which began life in 2003 creating middling browser-based video games,” Mark Walton writes for Ars Technica. “Like others that had struggled to develop a foothold in the industry — Rovio, Chillingo, and Supercell, to name but a few — King’s fortunes changed when Apple, having released the first iPhone in 2007, finally caved to pressure from developers and released a native software development kit one year later.”

“While commonplace now, the launch of a unified digital storefront alongside a native SDK was revolutionary,” Walton writes. “The first native game for the iPhone came from Apple. Touch Fighter, unveiled alongside the SDK, might have been a mere tech demo, but the OpenGL graphics and touch and motion controls it pioneered became a blueprint for third-party developers… Sega unveiled a version of Super Monkeyball, which used the iPhone’s accelerometer to guide the titular monkey-in-a-ball around platforms like a modern-day Labyrinth.”

“The iPhone and the App Store didn’t kill the console, of course, not even the handheld. Those that failed — like Sony did with PlayStation Vita or Nintendo did with the Wii U — did so because they misunderstood what gamers wanted,” Walton writes. “Instead, the iPhone grew the market. Angry Birds and Peggle introduced whole generations of people, young and old, to games. Indies could experiment with quirky ideas, often to great success. Even as it grew into a billion dollar industry, games never achieved the sort of mainstream acceptance associated with films and television. But the iPhone turned everyone into a gamer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The “worse” part would be some exploitative freemium games, but most of what iPhone (and iOS and the App Store) did for gaming was for the better!