Namco Eyes Tekken, Soulcalibur As It Expands iPhone DevelopmentS

It's a modern day gold rush and Namco's not above admitting it, or trying to profit from it.

Earlier this week the developer announced that they were opening up a new division dedicated solely to the creation of iPhone games. That means more Namco classics, new in-house titles and even third-party games for Apple's inordinately popular mobile phone.

To do it they brought in Jonathan Kromrey, an iPod and iPhone games producer and designer at Apple who was responsible for research, design and development of products and applications at the company.

Kromrey, also a former Namco game developer, says that this week will probably be the only one of the year that doesn't see an announcement from the company about new content or games for the iPhone.

"My charge is to make games that are the best for the iPod Touch and iPhone," he said. "There is a gold rush to do Apps for the App store," he said. "And Namco is at the forefront of that movement."

While Namco's titles for the iPhone have so far been mostly arcade classics, moving forward the company expects to have a lot of new titles from casual IP to action games.

"In the past Namco's been known for its depth of arcade experience, games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Soulcalibur and Tekken," he said. "I'm excited to be here and see a lot of those franchises come out on the iPhone.

"I'm here to champion new things, new IP, to discover what the new Pac-Man is for the iPhone."

But what about putting twitch games like Tekken and Soulcalibur on a device with no physical controllers?

"I would love that," he said. "I think twitch games would be great, it's just the controls that are a challenge. We are thinking about that."

Kromrey didn't want to talk specific pricing for the upcoming titles set to hit the iPhone over the course of the year, but he did say that his philosophy is that the number of hours a person plays a game should be linked to the game's price.

"If you are going to play a very casual light game for an hour, that's worth a dollar," he said. "Games that are bigger, that have peer-to-peer play, that are expandable, that are maybe four to five hours to play, that's a $5 price tag.

"Super, super duper brands that have all of those qualities, those will justify more."