Flight Control dev touches down at EA

UPDATE: Firemint CEO talks about EA's acquisition of the Australian mobile-game studio for undisclosed sum.


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With Angry Birds publisher Chillingo in its pocket, EA has decided that it's going to also need a bit of Flight Control. Today, the publisher announced its intent to acquire mobile-game developer Firemint, maker of the aforementioned air traffic control sim, as well as the popular iPhone and iPad title Real Racing. Terms of the deal, including purchase price, were not disclosed.

Flight Control has a new hangar.
Flight Control has a new hangar.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Firemint's first hit for the App Store was Flight Control, a game in which players used an iOS device's touch screen to guide airplanes and helicopters to their respective landing zones. Released in April 2009, the game had sold more than 2 million units by January 2010. The studio has also released such mobile titles as Real Racing, Real Racing 2, and Agent Squeek.

EA said that its acquisition of Firemint is expected to close within four weeks. No specific titles or future developments were revealed as part of today's announcement. The publisher does not expect to materially impact its financial results.

[UPDATE:] Firemint CEO Rob Murray has released a statement on the new deal with EA and how it will impact the company going forward:

"I just wanted to drop everyone a quick note about the planned acquisition of Firemint by EA. This is a pretty exciting move for us and for EA.

We have heard some pretty funny questions coming through so just to cover off some really straight forward stuff (as I see it). Yes we are staying in Australia! Yes we will be operating with very high levels of autonomy and yes I am running Firemint and doing what is best for our games and our customers. The easiest way to sum it all up is business as usual. However, business as usual does not mean that I am going to reveal Firemint's plans. We have an exciting slate and I think people will be pleasantly surprised with our games this year.

We reckon that we make some pretty awesome games at Firemint and we reckon we know how to continue making them. EA see us the same way and that's why they want us to join them. It is a good deal for us, because we need EA's help in order to win. They can free us up a lot to focus on the creative stuff that really matters and they can provide essential resources to help us build better games. EA believe in us, they want us to make great games and they trust that we know how to do that. We will be joining ranks with some of the best developers in the business.

I would forgive people for believing that we didn't exist before Flight Control, but we've been in business since 1999. Before Flight Control and Real Racing, our greatest success was achieved making games for EA Mobile, games like Madden, Sims DJ and Need For Speed Most Wanted. We learned our skills working with the same people that we are partnering with today.

We've developed a lot since then, and EA recognise that and they want us to keep doing what we do best. It’s going to be an exciting partnership."

[CORRECTION]: This article originally referred to Chillingo as the developer of Angry Birds. GameSpot regrets the error.

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