iPhone Gaming Discussion at SXSW: TUAW Panel Insights

At the recent SXSW conference, a panel focused on the technical and data-driven aspects of mobile app development provided some insightful revelations. The discussion featured Stephanie Morgan from ngmoco, Danielle Cassley from Aurora Feint, and Brian Greenstone from Pangea Software, moderated by Raven Zachary.

Raven Zachary opened the discussion with statistics from Pinch Media, noting the significant presence of mobile devices, particularly iPhones and iPod touches, which are estimated to be around 20 million in circulation.

He highlighted that these devices account for 70% of mobile browsing, a figure that dwarfs other platforms.

Stephanie Morgan shared insights into ngmoco’s strategic approach to game development on the iPhone, emphasizing the importance of free apps in building user engagement before transitioning to paid versions. She revealed that their game Rolando engages players for an average of over 20 minutes per session, demonstrating the potential for deeper gameplay on mobile platforms.

Danielle Cassley discussed the challenges of networked gameplay on mobile devices, particularly the issues related to latency and disconnections.

She explained how Aurora Feint has implemented asynchronous gameplay to mitigate these issues, allowing for a smoother user experience even in less-than-ideal network conditions.

Brian Greenstone shared his experience with porting existing Mac games to the iPhone, which he described as a low-cost process thanks to the reuse of existing assets. He highlighted the financial success of Enigmo, which has generated significant profits, contrasting it with other less successful ventures.

The panel also addressed the challenges of pricing and piracy.


Kevin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, where he brings the latest Apple news to life. With a keen eye for detail, Kevin covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on macOS. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about their favorite Apple products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Kevin’s commitment to delivering accurate and engaging content makes him a trusted voice in the Apple community.