Facebook game makers drop Apple tablet hints


With new Apple tablet rumors coming every day, gamers are naturally curious about the still-unconfirmed device's gaming capabilities. Adding fuel to the fire, the Wall Street Journal reports that leading game publisher Electronic Arts will show off new games for the tablet during Apple's much-hyped January 27 press event.

If the mythical Apple tablet is indeed a big brother to the iPhone and iPod Touch, as the conventional wisdom suggests, one must wonder if games like Bejeweled Blitz from Pop Cap or anything from Playfish (which is also owned by EA) or Zynga will make an appearance on the new device.

farmville on the apple tablet, not yet, but others might be coming soon
farmville on the apple tablet, not yet, but others might be coming soon

Apple is notoriously tight-lipped about upcoming projects, and demands the same vow of silence from its partners. Nevertheless, we quizzed the major players in the casual and social games business to gauge their interest in, or knowledge of, such developments.

The answers ranged from a simple "no," to politician-worthy non-denials. Reading between the lines, there's certainly at least some level of Apple tablet game development going on with some of these game makers.

PopCap, the company responsible for Bejeweled Blitz both on Facebook and iPhone offered an interesting analysis, saying, "[W]e have a great relationship with Apple and our games have exceeded all expectations on iPod clickwheel, iPhone and iPod touch, so any new device from Apple capable of supporting our games is certainly on our radar."

Zynga, maker of FarmVille and Mafia Wars, seemed to be less enthusiastic. When we asked them if they were doing anything with the new Apple device. "Not right now," was the answer.

Sounding more cryptic was Playfish, the EA subsidiary responsible for Pet Society and the new Gangster City. "Given that there's been no confirmation of what Apple is announcing next week, there's nothing we can really comment on," was the company's on-the-record response.

Considering Apple's reputation for secrecy, it's no surprise that hints and non-denials were as far as these game publishers would go. For at least the first wave of gaming partners, check back for our coverage of Apple's big press conference on January 27.