GameClub : the old games are the future

The video game has been heavily involved in the success of the App Store, the iPhone, and therefore Apple. When the shop opened its doors in 2008, users have been able to taste the joys of the first mobile games ! Unfortunately, most of these titles have disappeared or are left fallow. GameClub offers to revive them.


Apple has not missed the revolution the mobile game (unlike the game on Mac, but that’s another story). The manufacturer has understood very quickly that he had to support this nascent industry, putting often the games before on the home page of the App Store and in the editorial content of the shop.


Hook Champ (Rocketcat Games, 2009)

With iOS 11, the games have even won their own tab ! And it will not stop in so good way, with the Apple service Arcade, which will allow to play on all platforms of the manufacturer, to a hundred of exclusive games (read : Apple Arcade : a showcase playful for the Apple platforms).


All is not rosy for as much. The App Store has had several perverse effects that Apple has encouraged in great part : the price pulled down ; the domination almost no sharing of games freemium with their debilitating mechanisms ; the presence of advertising more and more intrusive ; the propensity to no end to in-app purchases…


But there’s worse. The evolution to the forced march of the hardware and iOS leaves it on the floor a good number of old games for which the developers do not have the time or the resources to maintain them. The transition to 64-bit in 2017 with iOS 11 , has sealed the fate of many games become impossible to install on newer devices. New users, as the players of the most nostalgic, no longer can enjoy these classics. It is there that intervenes GameClub.



This studio, founded in 2018 to New York, was given the mission to adapt the classic video game devices today. A colossal task that players will be able to enjoy this fall. In the meantime, GameClub has started its optimization, proposing to its beta-testers for a new game per week.


Enthusiasts and fans will recognize several big names in the list (Hook Field, Chooper 2, Cubed Rally in the World, Incoboto…), others will join. While the company has just raised $ 2.5 million from investors, we wanted to learn more about this initiative, by asking a few questions to Eli Hodapp, vice-president in charge of development (this is also the former editor-in-chief of website TouchArcade , specialized in the video game mobile).



GameClub wants to offer players the most young people (and less young…) the first games released on the iPhone. Why is this important ?


Eli Hodapp — there has been a lot of excellent games mobile premium since the early days of the iPhone, and the fact is that a very large number of them simply can’t be played because they have ceased to be updated, and they have disappeared from the App Store. GameClub exists because we love these classic games, we love to play without all those annoying banners and these in-app purchases that can be found today in the freemium. We want these games to be played by everyone.


There is currently a renewed interest in these older games, I think the “royal” of Rolando, which is as good as ever. Do you think that it is a form of nostalgia, or is it that the good games remain and never die ?


I think it is both. Many players like this mixture of experiences between the new games and the classics. As for the movies, series or books, replay a great game from the past can be very fun for a bunch of reasons. But if they disappear platforms such as the App Store, it will be impossible to go back and play there again. New players will not be able to discover it for the first time. And this will be devastating for the culture of the video game.


In addition, the interest of these classic games is increased as a result of the state of the video game today. The mobile games are gone to the bottom by bombing the players of pubs and endless micro-transactions, at the expense of the creation of new experiences of premium game. The result is a very tired of the game freemium. This is not a surprise if the Switch Nintendo knows as much success in offering super games premium, both new and classics, that you can play anywhere.


Eli Hodapp.

Do you think that Apple has a role to play in the preservation of the memory of the video game mobile ? One has the impression that the manufacturer cares…


One of the burdens heavier for the developer is continually updating his designs, to optimize them and to make them playable on your hardware and software, which is constantly changing. Developers must make difficult choices and to arbitrate according to their limited resources.


Given that the game market premium has virtually disappeared on mobile devices, many find it difficult to spend time and spend money to update titles that have probably been sold for $ 1 years ago. And it is the whole community, which loses the classics, one after the other.


It is a subject that concerns me a lot. I left my job as editor-in-chief of TouchArcade in order to be able to do something. The history and culture of these games are of concern to us all, we’re all in it together, and we all have a role to play to ensure the preservation of these games for future generations. And this is what we do to GameClub.


As a platform, the responsibility is Apple’s design of the super hardware and software, while nurturing a healthy environment that ensures the success of mobile developers and publishers.


Cubed Rally World (Nocanwin)

How does GameClub ? Do you have developers, graphic artists, specialists of the gameplay ?


It is what it is. GameClub is a developer, we have our own team of engineers who love to solve problems, such as the one to update, and optimize old games for today’s devices. For each game, we piochons in the original source code, we update, we remove the dependencies to the old SDK and the old frameworks no longer exist. We also set up a system to put the apps up to date more easily, and we rework the game to take advantage of all the configurations of today and HD graphics.


Once the game is stabilized and that it seems to be well, we send a beta to testers enrolled in our early access program, and we’re awaiting their feedback and bug reports. We document every step, which facilitates the next, porting a game with the same engine. One is thus able to optimize the process and update the game quickly and more efficiently.


How do you choose the games ? Is it that the developers of these old titles can come and see you ?


Yes ! We love to meet the developers and we invite all those who are interested in porting their creations to send us an email (hello@gameclub.io). One of the most difficult aspects of our job is to find out who owns the ip, so it saves us a lot of time and resources when the developers contact us.


We also want to provide games that are of interest to our community, so we want to know what the players have wanted to play. If a title favorite is not available any more, they may engage the developers on the social networks and tell them to move us a call !


Super QuickHook (RocketCat Games)

These old games are still fun, but some of them are ” primitive “. These securities have helped the iPhone users to understand and control their devices. Do you think that these games are relevant even today ?


I think that they are still relevant. What amuses me do you like maybe not, but the only way for us to talk about is that these games are available, so that everyone can play. You’re right, there has been a lot of experiments in the early days of mobile gaming, and while no longer necessarily suitable years later.


GameClub focuses on games that we are excited about always and that can always attract players. Some of these titles are actually more simple than the mobile games of today, but when I think of the way the landscape of the video game mobile has changed (for the worse), with all of these mechanisms freemium, these pubs and these in-app purchases, the classic way of doing things seems to me to be not so bad.


How many games do you want to come back ? Is there a limit ?


It remains to be determined. We have set the bar very high in terms of quality, we develop a collection of super games mobile premium so that players can enjoy anytime, with or without an internet connection. Currently, our goal is to update and offer a classic every week. There are so many games for mobile incredible who are at risk of disappearing forever as we are spoiled for choice. And we are open to opportunities to produce new shares and original signed GameClub in the future.


What will be your economic model ?


We have not made our decision yet. For the moment, we are working on our launch in the fall. We test a large number of economic models, including the subscription in specific regions, and we are looking for feedback from players via our early access program [you can always register, editor’s NOTE]. Our priority is to ensure that we provide a good user experience, and ensure that these classics are aware of the success that the players have to suffer ads invasive and in-app purchases abusive.


Sword of Fargoal

You raised 2.5 million dollars recently. What will you do with the money ?


It is very exciting ! This funding will enable us to strengthen our team, while investing more in the development of technologies that will allow us to quickly update and optimize these games. Currently, we are hiring video editors and producers creative in New York, as well as engineers for our office in Copenhagen. All the talents who have experience in the production of mobile games, engineering, UI/UX or marketing we may contact (careers@gameclub.io) !


Do you believe in the potential of Apple Arcade ?


I believe in the pleasure offered by games premium, and I’m interested in anything that can help to help them flourish. As I said, we are experiencing a number of possibilities for monetization, including subscription, for our launch this fall. I think this says a lot about what we do. Apple sees the same opportunities as us.

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