Ten Years Ago, Epic Helped To Legitimize iOS as a Gaming Platform With a Small Demo

An anonymous reader shares a report:

On September 1st, 2010, Epic Games released its Citadel tech demo in the Apple App Store. It was a boring thing to actually play – you simply walked around a medieval town in first-person perspective, taking in the sights with no objectives – but this calm debut marked a big moment for iOS, the App Store, and Epic Games. It proved that developers could fit gigantic, richly detailed set pieces running on a smartphone and do it while utilizing Unreal Engine 3, the same engine that powered some of the most popular games in the Xbox 360 and PS3 era of consoles. The devices of choice, if you wanted to get access to mobile games with impressive graphics, were suddenly just the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Citadel demo didn’t come to Android until almost two and a half years later in 2013.

The Citadel demo was groundbreaking at the time, and it possibly helped to kickstart the trend of bringing console-like experiences to the nascent mobile gaming platform. When I first saw it, I remember feeling like I immediately needed to throw my HTC Droid Eris out the window and buy an iPhone instead. I eventually got to try it out on an iPad at the gadget store where I was employed at the time, and it was stunning to see high-fidelity textures that had dimension and lighting that dynamically shifted when you walked into a building. There were even reflections at a certain point. I had played better-looking games on PC at that point, but something about the experience of being packed into a tiny device made for a magical proof of concept that left an impact on me, even as the fun of walking around Citadel lost its appeal. Ten years later, things are very different. Right now, Epic Games and Apple are in the midst of a high-profile legal battle that will likely have a serious impact on their relationship moving forward.

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