I like the idea of Apple acquiring EA, and contrary to what 1Up says, EA has suffered enough lately to make that a bit more viable. Apple could really use some high quality content for the iPhone/touch line of devices (which is now effectively competitive with game platforms like the DS), and perhaps upcoming tablets. -I’m sure Apple think it wonderful to be so successful with the App store, but knowing how Apple values user experience, you’ve got to think that they’d be happier setting some content quality benchmarks on their platforms, as that business grows. And EA nurtures their brand in much the same way that Apple does; so bringing that marque in, and living with it would likely be a happy marriage.
EA is actually in a rough position; unlike Activision/Blizzard and others that have been successful in creating/acquiring succesful alternate distribution and models, they are sort of in the process of another re-start of such efforts. Apple would largely get them out of this bind, as they could grow and learn on Apple’s digital distribution platform from a privileged position, while also growing their IP base and sales generally.
I have been pondering today the question of why it so bothers me that Gabo!, by Yoot Saito (of Seaman fame), was rejected by Apple for iPhone. The obvious issue is that it’s a curious and problematic situation when corporate entities own the tools of creative expression, and can stop distribution of an individual’s work. And this case is pivotal, as I don’t believe you can argue that his work isn’t art on some level, which could make it the Lady Chatterly’s Lover of the digital/hardware-approved content era. But, for me, it’s also more subtle, as I have long argued with more indie friends that the game console model of content control is fair because a) the hardware is subsidized, and hence the manufacturer is giving you better hardware than you’d buy for yourself for this use, in support of software sales and b) it’s focused primarily on commercial games, and not really a common carrier, as the PC serves as such an appropriate and parallel vehicle for content transmission. From a functional perspective, it never seemed to me that a non-commercial developer would bother putting in the time to learn the tools to put out a product onto a platform so customized to expensive development, and having an installed base so focused on gamers. This situation has changed slightly with xna and digital distribution, but still, developing for the console remains something that is logically targeted at gamers, under firm existing expectations on the part of creator and end-user. Continue reading “The Moral Difference Between iPhone and xbox: The Gabo! Problem.”