Although the iPhone and iPod Touch are penetrating the handheld gaming market at astounding rate, Spike TV’s annual Video Game Awards show failed to include any of the iPhone’s offerings. Even though Game of the Year went to the very worthy PS3 title Uncharted 2: Honor Among Thieves, it is surprising that there wasn’t a single nomination from the App Store in any category, not even among the handheld titles. Surely games like Spider: the Secret of Bryce Manor or Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid can compete with other handheld nominees like Scribblenauts or Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story.
This lack of appreciation towards the iPhone isn’t exclusive to Spike. In GameSpot’s latest “Best of” promo, they don’t even mention the iPhone as a gaming platform. Yahoo’s list of nominees also fails to mention any iPhone offerings (although Sims 3 was nominated, it is listed as a PC game and there’s no mention of the iPhone variant). Even the gold standard in gaming news, G4, forgot all about Apple’s little phone that could.
In the industry’s defense, there may be a formal submission process required by organizations like Spike TV before any game can be considered eligible for nomination. If developers failed in filing this appropriate paperwork, then they have no one to blame but themselves. However, if Spike and others choose their nominees more casually, it’s something of a surprise that the games industry is continuing to ignore the iPhone’s impact.
There is a bright spot, though. Not all industry magazines have released their year-end lists yet. Will one of these news organizations surprise us by including a title or two from the app store? We’ll see. If that’s not enough to bring us fanboys some sense of hope, Gamasutra has named the iPhone the hottest business gaming trend of 2009, commenting that this year the platform grew into more than the gaming wasteland many industry insiders predicted it would become. Even though this isn’t exactly a gaming award, it is nice to see someone in the industry acknowledging the phone that “does everything.” Sorry, Sony.
Apple–in its never-ending act of self-promotion–has released its own Best of 2009 which can be found on iTunes. Also, the team here at No DPad will be releasing our own “Best of” list just after the new year. Until then, happy holidays!