Entertainment giant Electronic Arts is merging Melbourne-based games studios Firemint and IronMonkey to form Firemonkeys, one year after EA acquired Firemint for an undisclosed sum.
Based in the United States, EA is a developer, marketer, publisher and distributor of video games. The company was founded in 1982 by Trip Hawkins.
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Regarded as a pioneer of the early home computer games industry, EA was notable for promoting the designers and programmers responsible for its games.
It is now the world’s third largest gaming company after Nintendo and Activision, with $US4.143 billion in revenue.
In May last year, EA acquired Melbourne-based games studio Firemint for an undisclosed sum. Firemint was founded in 1999 by Rob Murray.
One year on, EA is merging Firemint with fellow Melbourne-based studio IronMonkey to form Firemonkeys, which will become Australia’s largest game development studio.
Firemint is known for titles including Flight Control, SPY mouse and Real Racing, while IronMonkey rose to fame with Mass Effect Infiltrator, Dead Space and The Sims FreePlay.
Both studios have been developing mobile games for more than a decade. Combined, it’s estimated they have entertained more than 50 million players in 2012 alone.
According to Rob Murray, executive producer of Firemint, IronMonkey and Firemint have “solid reputations” for producing well-known games.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to share best practices, technology and resources,” Murray says.
By merging IronMonkey and Firemint, EA will be able to create a more focused team, dedicated to developing high-quality mobile game experiences.
This merge will result in positive overall growth for the Firemonkeys team in particular, as the studio is now hiring for several positions.
Fans can expect to see progressive development efforts with upcoming launch and project announcements scheduled for later this year.
“Both of these studios have produced award-winning games,” IronMonkey general manager Tony Lay says.
“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.”
Firemonkeys will continue to work on separate products in addition to collaborating on new ones out of the EA Melbourne office.