Following the release of a tech demo showing Atari 2600 games running on an iPhone using Manomio’s emulator, CEO Brian Lyscarz and CTO Stuart Carnie of Manomio took the time to answer a few of our questions. Read on for details about emulators, iPad, and why Manomio’s motto is “In retro we trust.”
When is the Atari 2600 emulator due out for iPhone? What delays, if any, are you anticipating?
Stuart: We are still in the early stages of negotiation with Infogrames/Atari, but have a good dialogue going with the right people. We wanted to share our progress due to your recent article on Slide To Play.
Will there be an iPad version?
Brian: We have been looking into an iPad version of C64 and obviously Amiga too, as the extra power of the device leaves room [for example, for a] splitscreen 2-player version which would really fun.
Will it be free to download, with separate DLC, like the current version of Commodore 64?
Stuart: We’re not sure how the model would work yet. Naturally, Atari would have their own input on this and we’d need to follow their lead; however, one of the models we have presented is in-app purchasing. I would anticipate many cases where the in-app purchase would be a pack of many games, perhaps 10+.
Brian: As for Amiga, the model will be slightly different due to the nature of these games that are much closer to today’s productions in terms of graphics. We think they can stand on their own much more than 4 and 8 bit games, and weÂ´re adding a bunch of new features and controls to each Amiga game to make it work on its own.
Which games are you looking to license?
Brian: For Atari, we already have a bunch of classics licensed as a side effect of our C64 agreements, and the cool thing about Atari is that a lot of the very popular games belong to Atari still and it would be a better package we could license. For Amiga, IÂ´ll not really lift the curtain yet, but I promise the very best of the 90Â´s for you.
Why does Manomio have a focus on making retro games work on an advanced piece of hardware like the iPhone or iPad?
Brian: Because itÂ´s so damn fun! We love classic games and seems like lots of other people do as well. These games work, in my opinion, perfectly on smaller devices as graphics are lifted to a new level. And of course it would be crazy to stop now, with over 1.5 million C64 downloads and tons of license work over the last year(s). We have other games coming too in the near future, but still “in retro we trust” is our mantra.
Stuart: We’ve found that retro is very much “in” right now, and a fair percentage of the iPhone demographic is mid-30 year olds who played the systems we’re targeting. Nostalgia is all about memories, and this group of 30-somethings played these games whilst in their childhood.
I’ve read some forum posts very similar to my own experiences and reason for enjoying retro titles. Often the comments are about starting up C64 for iPhone and recalling these experiences with friends and family, which makes them feel good.
Quite surprisingly, we’ve received a huge number of emails from young teens who love to play retro titles (perhaps to show their parents, who actually did play them) and end up really enjoying some of the C64 games.
Manomio actually has some more modern style games in the pipeline too, with a retro and/or stylized look and feel that we can’t wait to make public in the coming weeks and months.