App-pendix 1: The Class of 2008

Message boards buzzed with excitement as gamers eagerly awaited the opening of the Apple iTunes App Store. Since spring 2008, Apple had teased its debut into the gaming market, showcasing a wide variety of games for the iPhone 3G. Among those games: Backgammon, Super Monkey Ball, Enigmo, Cro-Mag Racer, Spore Origins, and Kroll1.

When the App Store finally opened on July 10, more than 160 games were available for purchase. A wide variety of developers were represented on launch day—including big players such as EA, Sega, and Namco, and independent developers like Pattern Making Co. and Bootant. Several debut games wisely played to the strengths of the iPhone, including the accelerometer, tilt functions, and touchscreen. Other games shot straight for the heart of the casual gaming audience. For example, 18 sudoku games were available for purchase the first day alone.

After scouring through hundreds of blogs, user videos, message boards, and websites, I’ve been able to re-create the list of games available on the App Store that day for the first time. On it, you’ll see which publishers were eager to dive into this new format (Hudson Soft, SEGA, Namco, and EA) and which up-and-coming publishers (Chillingo, Gameloft, and Jirbo) were attempting to make their big grab into the new market. It’s surprising to see how many games from the dawn of gaming were back for one more go. Most compelling is the number of independent developers on this list: they ...

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