Paul Farley of Tag Games, creators of Car Jack Streets, has said that iPhone and iPod Touch penetration could reach between 200 and 300 million as the device is shipped into China and Russia.
Speaking at Game Horizon's Best of British event yesterday, the Dundee-based company's managing director and co-founder made the prediction in the wake of both the hardware entering the new territories and the crumbling of exclusive deals with carriers, advising, "If you're in development and you're not taking the iPhone seriously, you should."
Farley also predicted huge potential in the iPhone free-to-play model, although he said it would probably be up-and-coming companies such as Playfish that would lead the way in it, and not bigger publishers like EA.
In part, the iPhone's success was down to iTunes, which people were already familiar with and trusted their credit card details with, he speculated. In contrast, only four per cent of mobile phone users have ever purchased a game, while 50 per cent have played one.
Piracy, he admitted, was a problem as it is on every other platform. "It's something we're looking for Apple to take a lead on," he said.
However, he praised the platform holder's support to date, saying it has been "fantastic" and open with developers. "I think the problem is a lot of the success has probably taken them by surprise," he added. "I don't think anyone could have predicted that iPhone as a gaming platform would take off in the way that it has."