John Carmack is bummed. The iPhone App Store is live and there's not a single id game on it.
"John is pretty disappointed we didn't have the manpower and resources to have a game for the launch of the" app store, id CEO Todd Hollenshead said.
Hollenshead said that Carmack and other id folks had been playing around with the iPhone SDK for awhile, but that the developer's small in-house mobile team just didn't have the time to put together a game.
"It appears that at this point that given the size of our team, we can only work on one mobile game at a time. We are probably partner up and the first (iPhone game) will be one where we work with a publishing partner".
Already the team is working on both Wolfenstein RPG and Doom 2 RPG for mobile phones, both of which id Software would like to bring to the iPhone, Hollenshead said.
"We have ambitions to have both on the iPhone", he said, "but it's too early to say if that's going to happen at this point".
As much as id seems to like the idea of iPhone gaming, they're taking a caution approach, but not for the reasons you'd think.
"The iPhone is cool, and the n-Gage was a nerd device", Hollenshead said. "The iphone is a pretty damn awesome phone, it's a great business device, it's one of the best portable mp3 player you can buy, it can play videos. There's a lot of reasons to have that device and it has the power to play games as well. It's a cool device that you can play games on and they can be awesome games".
But, perhaps the iPhone is too good at all the things it does.
Games on the iPhone, Hollenshead explains, are "going to be competing with all of those other things you can do on the iPhone that are pretty cool, that's the challenge".
"It does raise the bar on what you need to do from a game standpoint".
See, Carmack's initial attraction to mobile gaming was the fact that, well, most cell phone games are crap and most cell phones can't do more than a few things well.
"Doom RPG was a fun game you could play on your cell phone", he said. "With the iPhone the experience, what you are going to be doing in games, has to rise because there are so many other things you can do with it".