iPad’s Gaming Prospects: EA and Gameloft React

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Two game developers shared the stage with Steve Jobs during today’s iPad announcement. Afterward, Techland chatted with both to get their views on the new device. Here’s a mash-up of the two interviews:

Do you have a specific number of iPad games you’re aiming to have available the day it goes on sale?

Travis Boatman (VP Worldwide Studios, EA Mobile): We don’t. A lot of that has to do with the fact that we just got our hands on this thing. We’re not going rush stuff out just to get it out there. The mix of titles are going to have to do with how long it takes our teams to makes something that’s great.

Michel Guillemot (Gameloft President and CEO): It’s too early to say. We hope N.O.V.A. will be ready for launch.

Will iPad games cost more than iPhone games to produce?

Travis Boatman: Some games might not but there will definitely be cases where there’ll be more R&D dollars, more time spent because of the larger screen.

(More on Techland: Five iPad Games That Need To Be Made ASAP)

Will your iPhone game development decrease because some of those resources will be busy making iPad titles?

Michel Guillemot: We have 3,500 developers altogether so we have enough to develop for both (the iPhone and the iPad) at the same time.

Is the iPad a better game platform than the iPhone?

Mark Hickey (Gameloft Sr. Business Development Manager): At higher resolutions you get a much higher quality visual experience. So out of the gate, the games look better. The form factor, the multitouch and all the other opportunities for building new experiences are all waiting to be taken advantage of.

Michel Guillemot: Clearly, yes. It’s a different form factor, a new category. I’m quite excited about it. It will be a very good gaming device. It has a larger screen, you can put your fingers in more places on it.

(More on Techland: Hands-on With the Apple iPad)

When Apple showed you the device a few weeks ago, was the game you ultimately decided to demo at today’s presentation the only title you considered showing?

Travis Boatman: We definitely considered a lot of different games and for the short period that we had, we could’ve done a lot of things when we saw the screen real estate and the interfaces. There’s a lot of games we could’ve chosen but the reason we chose Need for Speed Shift was we wanted to test performance.

From a game perspective, what’s the counter-argument to what many people say about the iPad, namely that it’s just a big iPod Touch?

Travis Boatman: Because of the larger screen and the larger touch interface, it’s going to do unique things. Like we showed you in Need for Speed, when you get to a larger screen, you have more real estate for things like the mirrors and the shifter. These change the game experience dramatically.

More on Techland:

Apple’s iPad: The Specs Sheet

19 Rejected Names For The Apple iPad

Gallery: Hits and Misses from Apple So Far