EA merges Firemint and Iron Monkey to form new studio

Publisher joins together Flight Control and Mass Effect Infiltrator mobile studios, names the combination Firemonkeys.

Electronic Arts announced today it will be merging together its two Australian mobile development studios--Firemint and Iron Monkey--to form a new studio.

The rebranded Firemonkeys studio will be based in EA's Melbourne office and will work on new intellectual property in addition to Firemint's and Iron Monkey's current products. These include Flight Control, Real Racing, and SPY Mouse (Firemint), along with Mass Effect Infiltrator, Dead Space for mobile, and The Sims FreePlay (Iron Monkey).

Firemonkeys, previously known as Firemint and Iron Monkey.

According to EA, the merger of the two mobile studios will make Firemonkeys Australia's largest game development studio. Firemint was acquired by EA last May.

Tony Lay, current general manager of Iron Monkey, told GameSpot the idea to merge the two studios did not come from EA, but rather from talks between himself and Firemint executive producer Rob Murray and their respective teams.

"This is simply the most practical way to be successful, for both Iron Monkey and Firemint," Lay said. "It wasn't our original intention to merge, but since we work in the same building and we often help each other out on projects it made a lot of sense."

Firemint moved into the EA Melbourne office after the EA acquisition. Since that time, Lay says the teams have been increasingly working together. According to the Iron Monkey general manager, the biggest risks the teams undertook in the merger had to do with audience and legacy.

"Ultimately, the name Firemonkeys respects both the studios' legacy. People can still judge us by the products we make. Iron Monkey has always retained creative control over the games we make and that won't change. All this merger means is that we can be a lot more efficient in the way we do business. We can share resources and knowledge with Firemint and become the best of the breed in mobile development."

Lay believes mobile development is slowly growing both in the global gaming industry and in Australia, with smartphone install bases on the rise and the constant improvements in technology. Going forward, Lay says the new Firemonkeys studio will look to establish and push its own brands harder and be the creative centre of intellectual property.

"We want to sit shoulder to shoulder with EA studios like DICE and Criterion, and we'll get there by having IP ownership, whether we create our own or take ownership of an existing one. In the immediate future, this means making sure all Firemonkeys titles are of the same quality and standard as existing Firemint and Iron Monkey titles. I want us to be seen as a creative entity, not simply a porting house."

Firemonkeys is now in the process of hiring new positions. The studio says upcoming launch and project announcements will follow shortly.

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Discussion

53 comments
blackothh
blackothh

"This is simply the most practical way to be successful, for both Iron Monkey and Firemint,"

 

-where was that thinking when you allowed the destroyer of worlds get their hands on you?????

PoindeJ
PoindeJ

Is it just me, or does "Iron Mint" have a much better ring to it?

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

What good is it though when at the release of a game EA slaps on their worthless DRM, forces online mode into singleplayer and sells the rest of the game (aka DLC) overpriced ?

And then when nobody buys the product they blame piracy, fire the developers and close the studio they aquired.

 

Happend before, will happen again, I and many more I know stopped buying EA products and support independent developers and smaller studios without "big publishers" or at least publishers with brains instead. (no more money for EA, UbiSoft and Activision at least and Kalypso has recently been added to this list because of their crappy new launcher and online checks)

 

Talking about mobile games from EA, consider looking up a review of their "Dead Space for the iPad" mess that has been added with a "patch" (ingame advertisements, a link to the origin store covering up the quit button, etc.).

c0m4ndo45
c0m4ndo45

Yeah... EA in a nutshell... (/watch?v=e-LE0ycgkBQ&feature=g-all-c)

JohnIndigo
JohnIndigo

I enjoy all the hate there is for EA as much as any other person, but really... I've never heard of any of the games mentioned in this.

speed45823
speed45823

Q. What happens when you merge these following EA partners: 38 Studios, Big Huge Games, Epic Games, Bioware and Origin Systems and come up with a name?

 

A. 38 Big Huge Epic BioWhore Origin.

speed45823
speed45823

All staffs & CEO's at EA should be Incarcerated for committing 1st degree murder to video games.

sheikweight
sheikweight

Wow. EA's just becoming more powerful with ever merger.  Video Game's "SKYNET" equivalent.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

"Flight Control, Real Racing, and SPY Mouse"..."along with Mass Effect Infiltrator, Dead Space for mobile, and The Sims FreePlay " Does anyone here actually play these games? Not being snarky...but I've never heard of them.

jamyskis
jamyskis

I suppose in a year's time when the studio's deemed to be not making enough profit to feed a small country, the word on the EA Board of Management will be "fire the monkeys".

speed45823
speed45823

Good luck to Firemonkeys. Oh and don't forget to pucker up for EA.

Giggling_Ghoul
Giggling_Ghoul

Waiting for the evil company that goes against gamers to rot, ... rot!!

Rat_King
Rat_King

So while I know we all love to hate on EA for so, so many reasons, in the article it clearly states this was a decision made independently between the two studios that was BROUGHT to EA, who said "why not?"

 

I mean, come on, they work in the very same building doing the very same thing. Imagine how awkward "building parties" would be (if you've ever worked in a place like that). I think it's a great step in gaming that two independent, competing developers decided to work together to make their games that much better.

 

They just unfortunately HAVE to work under EA otherwise they wouldn't be able to survive. Sad, but true.

Temperedelm
Temperedelm

Taking bets on how long it takes EA to run this one into the ground!

bradrame
bradrame

I have high hopes for EA because the company runs on ecceptionally good software - got money to back up future mistakes - and Battlefield is THE BEST fps I ever played!

 

Go back to nintendo if you cant afford to feed EA some praise!

hadlee73
hadlee73

I hate how every company has to have a short, sharp-sounding title. I was personally hoping for "The Ironically Fiery Minty Monkeys".

chevydriver1123
chevydriver1123

Every time I hear EA merging another studio into it's fold I tend think if another video game crash (1980) will soon be on the way.

DaWarthog
DaWarthog

Iam just waiting for the day I hear break news!!!!! EA has just burned in hell!

Armyboy5
Armyboy5

Sometimes I feel that Electronic Arts will someday take over the gaming industry...

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

WARLORD IV BATTLLECRY OF ETHERIA  I want !

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Chimchar still owes me a version of Mass Effect Infiltrator that works on my Android tablet.  Or even my phone.  Based on forum posts, their hardware support is pretty lacking.

Jarten
Jarten

With EA involved somehow I don't things will turn out like they hope. Something just doesn't sound right about it from seeing EA's previous actions. I could be wrong on this but it's doubtful.

alex-willoz
alex-willoz

damn it I wanted Mint Monkey or Iron Mint......

EggEmperor
EggEmperor

What about Monkeymints? I often find them under hotel pillows.

irishsuperman01
irishsuperman01

I love monkeys for their potential for anarchy...a flaming one could definitely galvenise said love....

strayfies
strayfies

Well okay but I've had some bad experiences with firemonkeys.

PHOENIXZERO
PHOENIXZERO

I came in here hoping the new studio was a merging of their two names in such a manner and was left satisfied.

blue_francis14
blue_francis14

 @Poodlejumper I've played Flight Control, ME Infiltrator and DS for mobile. They are fun. The article implies that EA is getting serious on their mobile front because, well, one-day dlc on apps isn't really a dlc but they are called in-app purchases and it does sound as bad as one day dlc to the ios/android users.

speed45823
speed45823

 @Rat_King It all sounds well & good except for the "HAVE to work under EA" part.

Kaine852
Kaine852

 @Temperedelm Probably when the sequel of the first game firemonkey makes. You know, like what happened to Dragon Age.

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

 @bradrame You must work for EA or be in denial. No real consumer can possibly be this positive about a anti-consumer friendly company. All they are doing is making every other company look better by comparison.

Shilleto
Shilleto

 @speed45823 no one is forcing you to buy stuff on origin can buy them anywhere. add cd key to origin and play without a dvd

bradrame
bradrame

 @ExplicitMike Give me  a couple reasons why it's anti-consumer friendly, is it because of the 'milking the money'? maybe puting out DLC's when they should have been in the game already? Why are you guys so psychotic about how you spend your money??

 

ps - I wish I was working for EA

pss - being a part drone and shit sounds really cool to me X)

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@Banefire76 @bradrame Kind of sad, aren't they?

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

 @bradrame Good for you. The rest of us will continue complaining because we can. Good day.

bradrame
bradrame

 @ExplicitMike Ok well i looked at the movie and I agree that some of their games have been shitty but I love EA/DICE, Ubisoft, and Bethesda games - and I will stick up for 'em - Including EA

 

- and yes I basically throw money down the toilet, but that's how I'm gonna live

speed45823
speed45823

 @ExplicitMike Hey maybe this guy's got a money growing plant at his backyard. So he can just piss off money.

ExplicitMike
ExplicitMike

 @bradrame I'll give you one simple reason. If every other company does what EA does but better then why the fuck do we need EA? That's not competition. As of now all EA is doing is making other companies look better. Their DRM Origin rarely offer discounts. They force you to use it without any benefits. Just look at how many Sim expansions they have. (katy perry edition really?) This would be fine except they are asking full price for all of those. I could go, but I everything that has been said about EA has already been said. If you need more reason just look at this video http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5946-Why-Do-People-Hate-EA

 

Oh and one last thing. Are you really asking people why they care about how they spend their money? Get a clue. All average people care about their money spending. Don't be ignorant.