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Classic iOS mobile games are getting a second life on modern iPhones and iPads

Classic iOS mobile games are getting a second life on modern iPhones and iPads
[Photo: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash]

A new startup called GameClub is on a mission to revive old iOS games that no longer work on today’s iPhones and iPads.

Every time Apple upgrades iOS, there’s a chance that the new software could break compatibility with older games. This was especially the case in 2017, when Apple released iOS 11 and stopped supporting apps written for older 32-bit architecture. If those games are no longer generating steady revenue, there’s little incentive for developers to undertake a potentially arduous update process. As a result, thousands of classic mobile games are no longer playable without an old iPhone or iPad running an outdated version of iOS.

So far, GameClub has already updated a game called Hook Champ, which first launched in 2009, and the startup is seeking players to try out that game and others in an “Early Access” program. While it’s unclear what the business model will be, it sounds like GameClub is looking to experiment. “GameClub [has] a bunch of plans with innovative pay models that straight up didn’t exist when most/all of these games were first released, which makes sense of actually bringing these old games back to the App Store,” writes Eli Hodapp, the longtime editor-in-chief of mobile gaming site TouchArcade, who’s now leaving his post to serve as GameClub’s vice president of business development.

My best guess: Gameclub will roll a bunch of classics up into a subscription model for folks who are tired of being nickel-and-dimed through in-app purchases. Whatever the model is, I’m hoping it’ll let me play VectorPark’s Levers again.

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