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In news sure to please procrastinators everywhere, the creators of Flight Control and Puzzle Quest are now under one roof, with the news that Firemint have acquired fellow Aussie studio Infinite Interactive. I can hear your productivity levels plummet already.
The decision is win-win for both developers - Infinite Interactive now have a door open to them when it comes to independent publishing, and Firemint get a hefty boost when it comes to designing and developing original games.
Firemint has been around for just over ten years, mainly creating titles in the work-for-hire mobile sector before hitting the big time with their super-addictive iPhone titles Flight Control and Real Racing in 2009. They've now branched out to embrace other gaming platforms, dabbling with other handhelds and even releasing via Steam for both PC and Mac. As a sign of how far they've come, the studio now only works on self-published original titles.
Infinite Interactive have been a key player in the Australian development scene since their inception in 1989, when Steve Fawkner created the company that would later become best known for Warlords and the Puzzle Quest series of games. Today, Steve is recognised around the world as one of the industry's greatest innovators, creating more than 30 games over his 25+ year career.
I can imagine the smiles going around Melbourne today, as Rob Murray explains:
"I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Steve and his team to Firemint. Steve is an outstanding game designer and our two studios evolved very similar philosophies of developing addictive, fun and polished original games. By bringing our studios’ talents together, we will be able to create even more awesome games – and more of them."
Steve Fawkner is also very pleased:
"Firemint has had huge success designing, developing and publishing great original games. By joining forces, we now have a way to further develop some of the exciting new concepts we’ve been working on. This new position really frees me up to focus on game design and I can’t wait to get stuck into it!"
The pair have known each other for a while now, from an initial meeting in 2003. In 2006, Steve showed Rob an early version of a game he'd been prototyping over his Christmas vacation - the very beginnings of Puzzle Quest.
A few years later, a little bit inspired by what Steve had done, Rob spent his end-of-year time off planning a game too - and that one grew up to be Flight Control. You get the feeling that acquisition has been in the works for a while, with Rob exclaiming that "We've finally found a way to work together!"
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Jimmy the Geek