RIP iPod, Home Of The Mobile Gaming Renaissance (2001–2022)

Raise your hand if these ads left an indelible impact on you, too.

And so, news of the iPod’s death set off a spirited wave of nostalgia in Kotaku’s Slack this afternoon.


Staff editor Lisa Marie Segarra shouted out pretty much all of the games listed above, and further pointed to the iPod as a catalyst for the indisputable Candy Crush craze. She also praised the tilt controls that came with some games, which were “so innovative at the time. Or at least it felt like it.”

“What a time to be alive,” added staff writer Zack Zwiezen. “I truly miss the older era of the App Store. … No doubt we have great stuff today, but I can’t help but long for those simpler times when I drank fake beer and played with knock-off lightsaber apps.”


The times are indeed less simple. Rather than the handful of must-play options, Apple’s gaming ecosystem is bigger than ever, as major games—everything from blockbusters like XCOM and Genshin Impact to indie sleeper hits like Sayonara Wild Hearts and Baba is You—make their way to the App Store. Apple Arcade, a subscription service that grants access to a library of games, is slowly becoming an essential scouting ground for under-the-radar gems. (Many Apple Arcade games eventually make their way to Nintendo Switch or traditional consoles, where they become ‘legitimized’ in the eyes of the hardcore player, something that goes on to obscure mobile game origins.)

But every time one of these once-essential devices gasps its final breath, I find myself struck at the finality—how everything, no matter its apparent staying power or cultural impact, is ephemeral, a fleeting moment you don’t realize was fleeting until it’s gone. As they say: Wouldn’t it be nice to recognize you’re living in the good times when you’re actually living in the good times? I think so.


Anyway, yeah, RIP to the iPod. You had a good run. You’ve left a good legacy. And to really get all mid-2000s: Thnks fr th Mmrs.


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