Wednesday, 25 July 2012 10:06

Fly my pretties! Firemonkeys minted in Melbourne iron

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An iron partnership forged in the fires of the Electronic Arts furnace, Melbourne can now claim to be home to a mobile development studio second to none.  


Firemonkeys is the new studio born from merger of IronMonkey and Firemint, both EA owned mobile game development houses located in Melbourne Australia.

Firement in particular has ridden the successful rise of mobile gaming, best known for its titles Real Racing and Flight Control.  Later the company absorbed fellow Melbourne based development studio Infinite Interactive (PuzzleQuest) in January 2011and then in May last year became part of the Electronic Arts behemoth.

Meanwhile IronMonkey has been doing great work for EA realising many iconic EA franchises into mobile form.  Games such as Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, and Mass Effect: Infiltrator as well as The Sims: Freeplay have all emerged from the St Kilda Rd studio in recent years.

In what was somewhat of an inevitable announcement, Electronic Arts has announced the merger of the two studios to form Firemonkeys.  Here are the details:


These two studios have entertained over 50 million players in 2012 alone with stellar titles including Flight Control, SPY mouse and Real Racing from Firemint, and Mass Effect Infiltrator, Dead Space and The Sims FreePlay from IronMonkey. Based in Melbourne, Australia, both studios have been developing mobile games for over a decade and combining the two teams makes Firemonkeys Australia’s largest game development studio.

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Both teams look forward to the unification with Rob Murray, Executive Producer of Firemint commenting, “IronMonkey and Firemint have solid reputations for producing well-known games and we are excited to have the opportunity to share best practices, technology and resources.”
 
By aligning the strategy of IronMonkey and Firemint, EA is able to create an even more focused team of passionate individuals who are dedicated to developing high-quality mobile game experiences. This merge in the mobile space is resulting in positive overall growth for the Firemonkeys team, as the studio is now hiring for several positions. Fans should expect to see progressive development efforts with upcoming launch and project announcements in 2012.
 

“Both of these studios have produced award-winning games and we believe combining the incredible talent pool in Melbourne, as well as leveraging the EA brand, sets us up for further success in the mobile arena,” adds Tony Lay, GM of IronMonkey. 
 
Firemonkeys will continue to work on separate products in addition to collaborating on new ones out of the EA Melbourne office. With the added synergy this partnership creates, fans can expect unique features and new experiences in the brands they have come to know and love.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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