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Spore and Monkey Ball coming to iPhone

Carmack and Team 17 up for it too.

Apple has announced plans to bring gaming to the iPhone, allowing developers to use the relevant SDK and APIs for free.

The announcement came straight from CEO Steve Jobs, speaking at a conference live-blogged by News.com.

EA's already been hard at work adapting the Mac version of Will Wright's Spore for the iPhone. Meanwhile, SEGA has unveiled a new version of Super Monkey Ball, complete with spanky updated graphics.

The "first official game for the iPhone", however, will be Touch Fighter. You'll use the iPhone as if it were a steering wheel to control a spaceship. Apparently the game took just two weeks to develop.

So what's in it for Apple? Well, they'll get 30 per cent of all sales from the iPhone's App Store - the only place you're able to upload and download third-party applications for the handset. Developers, however, won't have to worry about hosting, distribution or retail issues, as Apple will take care of all that.

According to News.com the App Store is a bit like the iPhone's Wi-Fi Music Store. It allows for direct downloads via Wi-Fi or phone networks so you don't have to muck about with hateful old iTunes.

It's not just EA and SEGA who are keen to produce iPhone games. As reported by Slashdot, John Carmack says id Software has already applied to do the same. He's worried that "Steve is still pissed at me over some negative comments I made about iPod development tools a while ago".

He's more positive when it comes to the iPhone stuff though: "Just based on the blurbs, it looks very good - a simulator plus debugging on the native device is the best of both worlds, and a 70 per cent royalty deal for apps over iTunes is quite good."

Meanwhile, TechRadar reckons Worms developer Team 17 is rather keen too. Studio director Martyn Brown described Apple's decision to open up iPhone development as "a fantastic and positive move", adding. "It is a potentially tremendous device for casual games."

Can you guess what Team 17's plans for the iPhone might be? "We'll certainly be looking at ways we can bring something like our own Worms titles to the device," Brown revealed.