Apple hiring a game designer – what could it mean?

I’m sure speculation is going to get out of hand around this job posting put up by Apple for a game designer. The job calls for 3D modeling skills and experience with this sort of development environment — online distribution and all that. I wrote a little while back about why Nintendo has nothing to fear from Apple — the idea being that the two aren’t competing in the same areas. Does this job posting suggest otherwise? Nah.

I noted that Apple, in a rare show of unpreparedness, underestimated the demand for games on their devices. They’ve come to their senses now, perhaps a little late, but at least they didn’t snub gamers altogether (as they’ve done on Macs for the last decade or so). And since Apple likes to have first-party options for pretty much everything under the sun, I’m guessing they’ll want a few first-party games too. I’m guessing they’ll put together a few games that demonstrate the platform’s power, which will come pre-packaged on every iPhone and iPod. It’s a good way to drive demand, since once a customer plays one or two games, they’re far more likely to want to check out some more.

If Apple were really getting serious about this, they’d set up a big partnership with a mobile gaming company or just buy one outright. No need to go about hiring people one at a time. Expect the next big iPhone update to include a games browser and a few solid, built-in games.

[via Giz Modo]