It’s no secret that the Apple TV hasn’t exactly turned into the gaming platform Apple had hoped it would be. Last month, Minecraft developers announced that they were ending support for the Apple TV, while other developers have also expressed concern for the future of Apple TV gaming.
Now, ArsTechnica has talked with a handful of well-known game developers who express mixed feelings about the Apple TV’s use for gaming.
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Ryan Cash, the lead developer for Team Alto, explained that it doesn’t “shock” him to see Minecraft’s demise on Apple TV – but he remains optimistic about the platform’s future. The appeal of the Apple TV, Cash explained, is that it’s a good way to introduce a certain segment of the audience to gaming for the first time:
“It doesn’t shock me,” he responded. “I mean, for a game of that magnitude, I can see why they may not find the platform successful. If I were in charge of the game though, I think I’d really try to stay there. While the platform certainly isn’t the biggest, it continues to grow, and it’s a great way for certain types of audiences to experience gaming, often for their first time.”
Earlier this year, Alto’s Odyssey from Team Alto was released for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Speaking to Ars, Cash touted the launch as a “success”, but did offer any detailed figures.
Another developer, Strange Flavour CEO Aaron Fothergill, noted that it’s entirely possible Minecraft’s demise on the Apple TV was for political reasons, giving the game is owned by Microsoft. “It’s not like Minecraft needs a lot of support other than a server, even if they don’t update the Apple TV version. So the thought that it might be political definitely crossed my mind,” he explained.
Fothergill also noted that the Apple TV is “easy to write for” and that when his company ported games to the platform, it didn’t make “millions or even hundreds of thousands,” but it was enough to cover the cost of the port.
Lastly, developer Patrick Hogan told Ars that there are three things Apple must do to revitalize Apple TV gaming: included an Apple-branded and “full-featured” controller with the device, market it as a gaming platform, and “spend a lot of money on funding platform exclusives, ports, and presence at every major gaming expo and conference to break the chicken-egg problem of getting customers to make it viable to devs.”
Earlier this year, I wrote about how gaming on the Apple TV has been let down after let down. ArsTechnica’s piece makes it clear that some developers are still holding out hope, but the fate of Apple TV gaming is certainly still up in the air and depends on Apple’s willingness to advance its feature set.
Read ArsTechnica’s full piece right here.