iPhone app developer Firemint has acquired video game studio Infinite Interactive, with the Melbourne-based start-ups joining forces to focus on self-published titles.
Infinite Interactive was founded in 1989 by Steve Fawkner and is responsible for producing the Puzzle Quest series of game, including Galatrix and Puzzle Kingdoms.
Firemint, launched by Rob Murray in 1999, has enjoyed huge success with its Flight Control and Real Racing iPhone apps. Last September, Firemint confirmed Flight Control has sold over three million units.
Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed, although Fawkner will continue to work with his current team on a game already under development.
Fawkner says he is looking forward to working with Firemint given the company’s success in designing, developing and publishing 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,” he says.
Rob Murray says he is “incredibly pleased” to welcome Fawkner’s team into the Firemint fold.
“Steve is an outstanding game designer and our two studios evolved very similar philosophies of developing addictive, fun and polished original games,” Murray says.
“By bringing our studios’ talents together, we will be able to create even more awesome games – and more of them.”
Video game studios have endured tough times in the past two years, with many publishers shrinking their budgets during the financial crisis, leaving smaller developers without work or the means to self-publish their own games.
The acquisition is therefore a testament to Firemint’s growth as smaller studios are usually acquired by large publishing groups instead of other developers.
Studios such as Firemint have been able to survive by leveraging the popularity of the iPhone as a gaming and private distribution platform, reducing their reliance on external publishers.