First Libgdx Games approved on iOS App Store

Congrats to Noblemaster Games for getting his games Tropical Stormfront and Desert Stormfront approved on the iOS App Store. This means libgdx can be used to produce iOS games officially :)

Now, we still have some way to go before we can give this goodness to you guys. The process of making this work is to complex for the normal user, but we are working on figuring out how to make this as pleasent as it can be.

Note that the iOS backend has some limitations when it comes to the Java Runtime library that’s supported. Namely, the entire java.net package is unsupported. One of the reasons we started work on our own net API. Also, using third party Java libraries might or might not work. This is similar to some degree on Android, though compatibility is usually less of an issue there.

Let me also remind you that publishing on iOS means you’ll need a Mac (~500$ for a Mac Mini), an Apple Developer license (99$/year), and a MonoTouch license (79$ if you are a student, 399$ otherwise). MonoTouch is the only thing we add on top of the things you have to pay for anyways.

  • http://bitiotic.com P.T.

    This is awesome! Even with the caveats you listed, this is amazing. Congrats on the milestone!

  • Fisherman

    great news guys keep it up

  • teks

    Great news! I also wonder that is it possible to put in-app purchases with libgdx’s ios backend?

  • Richie

    > you’ll need a Mac (~500$ for a Mac Mini)

    *cough* Hackintosh *cough*

  • http://badlogicgames.com Mario

    Yes, in-app as well as game center should be doable with the ios backend, as MonoTouch exposes those APIs in C#, which you can from your Java code.

  • http://www.chrismweb.com ChrisM

    Yeah, you can always buy an old mac to develop on. My dell E1705 ran fine… I mean, mac book mini had no issues.

    I personally won’t invest into developing for iOS until I am create a relative hit on Android, and nothing similar exists on iOS yet- it’d be stupid not too, since someone will clone your stuff anyways if it’s popular enough.

    But I can see how this would immediately be useful for anyone who does business apps, or who already has a hit.

  • teks

    Lastly,how many months does ios backend will take?I want to publish my game on iOS platform and i’m thinking that i will do this with Cocos2d before i know about libgdx’s ios backend.Cocos2D will take my 2 months so if libgdx’s ios backend will be present within 2 months that would be very great :)

  • magnete

    Mario,
    the Libgdx platform is awesome!
    From what I see the approved games are commercial games, since I was planning to release a free ad-supported game do you know if is possible to add a banner AD (admob) to the iOS port ?

    Thanks in advance for your work!

    Best regards.

  • Arbos

    Gratz! This sounds really awesome. I have one question however, is setting up a virtual machine with Mac OS an option instead of actually buying an Apple machine?

  • http://badlogicgames.com Mario

    I guess so arbos, not that i can officially endorse it :)

  • http://badlogicgames.com Mario

    Magnete, that should be possible.

  • Silverwolf

    This makes LIBGDX compete with the alternatives and I say much better due to the top support you and the forum give and the ease of the set-up and its performance.

    LIBGDX free and free updates year after year :). Monotouch 399 dollars and only 1 year free upgrades OUCH! (so may have to buy it more than once?), but I suppose worth it if IOS will bring in a lot of income and alternatives seem to require Monotouch too.

    I will see how well my games sell on Android before buying Monotouch and should they not sell well I will probably end up learning Cocos2D for IOS. I am unemployed so I decided yesterday that really should not front load my expenses too much before getting decent income. So my fingers are cross as I would rather use LIBGDX for IOS.

    I wonder if there is a really cheap online course I can sign up to that would qualify me for the student version :)

    For me Game Center on IOS is a must do for games I port that would need a leader board. On IOS I want to use Game Center not 3rd party leader boards, so I will also wait till someone provides instructions on how to integrate that before getting Monotouch.

    Still very good work and it is obvious that LIBGDX competes very well with cross platform alternatives and has a huge feature set now.

  • Saj

    What Silverwolf mentioned about GameCenter is very true and figuring this one out will also open the door to in-app purchase. Freemium apps are the way to go. Thank you Mario! You give your efforts and give the results for free. You can!

  • devilstick

    Really excellent work guys and congrats on getting accepted!. I’m hoping to give iOS a go with my game when the first releasable version is ready in the next 1 – 2 months.

  • http://www.leestorm.com LeeStorm

    It’s really exciting!Thank for your efforts!Uh…But,maybe MonoTouch license is too expensive for independent game developers.

  • http://badlogicgames.com Mario

    Well, as said earlier, you can get a 79$ license if you are a student.

  • dcm

    A tip: For those that don’t want to buy a mac or install a hackintosh, there’s a vmware image of mountain lion floating around somewhere in the interwebs. Just saying. Don’t know if it’s fun to use (especially not when using an ios emulator probably… emulatorception) but it’s worth a shot.

  • dcm

    Btw the next big thing would be windows phone 8 / windows 8 rt…
    After all it seems like an opengl wrapper around xna is possible…
    http://www.straightforward.se/storyserver/opengl-es-support-on-windows-phone-7
    But iOs is an awesome step already ;)

  • http://www.reiti.net reiti.net

    I’ve already tried to port a game to Win8 and it is not so much work, when relying only on core functions of the library because java and c# are relatively equal as long as you have a small wrapper for some funktions you can merely rely on the Win8 Framework .. It is much easier than porting the game to iOS for example (when doing a complete port)

    Thumbs up for the iOS thingy – even with the high initial costs (for indies)

  • Charles

    @Mario: Do we have a sample code available to call C# code from Java code for in-app purchase or game-center integration into the libgdx/java based game? I went through Xamarin.Android samples, and couldn’t found a compelte example to call C# code from Java via ACW.

  • Miral

    I’m moving over to the game dev side of Android and this whole iOS thing is interesting. Way too expensive for me right now. Like others have said I would need to see how my game does on Android first and only if it becomes a hit would I port it to iOS. Even at a huge cost it’s great to know that it is possible.

    I’m currently deciding between LibGDX and AndEngine, the latter which doesn’t support iOS. I’m just starting out in game dev so picking the game engine is the first step, and a crucial step.

    I guess with LibGDX I can have an Android and Windows version of any game I make and Windows is a massive market in itself.

    Anyone have any advice is terms of coding difficulty with LibGDX? Like i said I’m brand new to game development. I’ve released a few Android apps to the market, but no games.