iPhone Game Development Reminds Former EA Exec Of Wii Development

The moment that former Electronic Arts executive Neil Young held an iPhone, he knew change was coming.

That feeling was so strong that he left his post at EA over the summer and formed an iPhone-only gaming company called ngmoco:).

Speaking to MTV Multiplayer over the phone yesterday, Young compared his experiences with the iPhone to working on both the Wii and DS.

“If you think about the games that were successful, have been successful on the Wii — and it’s also true of the DS — they’re games that have kind of been built from the interface out,” said Young. “And by successful I mean both from a critical standpoint but also a commercial standpoint.”

“I just read Jeremy Parish’s [story] on 1UP on iPhone gaming,” he continued, “and he was talking about when the DS started to accelerate as a platform was when designers started to do more than just port the old games over, try to map some hokey extension with the stylus and started really building games that specifically took advantage of the stylus. I think that’s true on the iPhone here, too. We’re just at the very, very beginning.”

One of the reasons some publishers started supporting the Wii early on was lowered development costs. Building a Wii title was far cheaper than the same scale on Xbox 360 or PlayStation. Young views iPhone development the same way.

“The development expense is just very different,” he said. “You’re spending a lot less money so you can afford to take a lot more risks in what you’re building.”

ngmoco:) has several iPhone games out and more coming soon. “Rolando,” a “Loco Roco”-style platformer with accelerometer controls, looks very promising.

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