If you have no friends, [o Game Center] will find someone to play with.
–Steve Jobs, in 2010, presenting iOS 4.1
Start a Fortnite match or find an opponent in Clash of Clans in a few seconds? Of course, these games are already consolidated and with millions of players, but it was not possible when Apple launched the App Store in July 2008. Game Center emerged to unify the will to play and compete.
Gradually, we had some updates like turn-based games (on iOS 5) and challenges (on iOS 6). The Game Center app (yes, we had an app!) Was then removed (on iOS 10) and, little by little, it lost its importance in games – Apple itself left the “Game Center” menu almost hidden in Settings. Most of the major producers have implemented their own ranking solutions, multiplayer, achievements and rewards. This year, Apple is pulling developers back to Game Center.
Fortunately, Apple announced at WWDC20, along with its new systems, that the Game Center will receive changes and a makeover. As far as we can see, the feeling is great.
Although it is not a new separate app, now, opening the Game Center in Settings – or by the App Store, touching your photo -, the profile shows more details of your account, the most popular Apple Arcade games among your friends and game achievements. In addition, it was easier to invite friends – by the way, call me on Twitter so I can give you my Apple ID and be friends! ?
Within the games we will have new leaderboards, monitoring the progress of friends, improvement in multiplayer sessions (in turn-based games or in real time), in addition to existing information, such as achievements, scores and comparisons with friends.
All changes are in GameKit, available for developers to integrate Game Center into their games. If you’re a developer and you’re reading this, here’s the tip: Apple always highlights apps / games in the App Store that embrace these new system functions. ?
In tvOS 14, a novelty needs to be highlighted: in Apple TV, which already supports multi-users, the progress of each game will be saved individually, so each person in the house will be able to play in their own time.
Another novelty will be compatibility with new joysticks, such as the Elite 2 wireless controller (from Xbox) and Adaptive – for special features such as motion sensors, lights and battery level. And for games that are not compatible, a function of mapping the screen may bring support for other joysticks.
We know that Apple cares about games – no wonder that, of the five main tabs of the App Store, two are related to games. Now it’s waiting for developers to embrace the changes, integrate them into the games and, of course, that players use all the functions so that Apple’s “social gaming network” doesn’t die … again.