With tiny screens and limited processors compared to their smartphone counterparts, game developers haven’t released an exciting amount of interest in regards to the slew of new smartwatches being released left and right. Which makes Electronic Arts (EA), one of the biggest game developers in the world, and their interest in the recently announced Apple Watch all the more fascinating.
Apple and EA have a long history together. One of the founders of EA, Trip Hawkins, was a former Apple employee. EA has featured some its upcoming games at Apple events, such as Real Racing 3 at the release of the iPhone 5 back in 2012. And with the success of the iPhone and other smartphones in the mobile gaming industry, maybe EA sees the Apple Watch as a way to get a foothold in the newest gaming platform. That aside, the interest in gaming on the niche devices hasn’t gained much of a following so far. One of the most popular examples so far is a Flappy Bird copy on the Pebble, but even that is a slow draw.
In an interview with CNET, Frank Gibeau who is the head of EA’s mobile efforts, stated they are already prototyping wearable experiences that are completely unique to the watch. Realizing a smartwatch version of Madden simply won’t translate well, Gibeau goes on to explain that EA sees potential in the experiences that smartwatches provide, such as using the fitness tracking features to enhance a game on an iPhone.
While it is still certainly in its infancy, the possibilities that Apple Watch and smartwatches alike could unlock for mobile gaming could be huge, and that’s something to keep an eye on.