Firemint Acquires Puzzle Quest’s Infinite Interactive

Looks like iOS game company acquisitions are the new “Google has acquired”: in an unexpected turn of events, popular game studio Firemint (creators of award-winning iOS titles such as Flight Control or Real Racing) has acquired the company behind Puzzle Quest, the Infinite Interactive team. Both companies are based in Australia, and a press release went live last night to announce the deal and the fact that “Firemint is welcoming Steve Fawkner”, founder of Infinite Interactive in 1989. As you can see in the graphics above, the companies are already joking about the games that will come as a result of this acquisition, whether or not we’ll be able to put our hands on “Puzzle Control” or “Flight Quest”.

A curious detail is hidden in the press release (which we’ve embedded below): apparently, Firemint’s Rob Murray and Steve Fawkner are long-time friends, and Fawkner showed Murray an early prototype of Puzzle Quest in 2003, receiving feedback from him. Now, he will be able to get feedback on a daily basis and who knows – maybe we are really going to see a more RPG-oriented Real Racing or puzzles in Flight Control. The idea sounds awful, I know, but game designers can usually make awful ideas happen.

Firemint Welcomes Steve Fawkner and the Infinite Interactive Team

Creators of Flight Control and Puzzle Quest now under one roof

Melbourne, Australia – 4 January 2010 - Games studio Firemint today announced that it has acquired fellow Australian studio, Infinite Interactive. The move further boosts Firemint’s strength in designing and developing original games, while providing the Infinite Interactive team with a channel for independent publishing.

Firemint was founded by Rob Murray in 1999. It became a highly regarded work-for-hire mobile games studio before shooting to fame with iPhone hits “Flight Control” and “Real Racing” in 2009. Firemint has recently expanded to additional platforms including Nintendo DSiWare, Sony PlayStation Network, and Steam (PC and Mac). The studio now works exclusively on self-published original games.

Infinite Interactive was founded by Steve Fawkner in 1989, and is best known for the “Warlords” and “Puzzle Quest” series of games, both designed by Fawkner. Fawkner is one of the games industry’s pre-eminent innovators, and has created more than 30 games in a career spanning more than 25 years. He takes on a product management position at Firemint, and will continue to work with his current team on a game already under development.

Murray said “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome Steve and his team to Firemint. Steve is an outstanding game designer and our two studios evolved very similar philosophies of developing addictive, fun and polished original games. By bringing our studios’ talents together, we will be able to create even more awesome games – and more of them.”

Fawkner commented, “Firemint has had huge success designing, developing and publishing great 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!”

Murray and Fawkner first met in 2003 and in early 2006, Fawkner showed Murray an early version of Puzzle Quest, which he had prototyped over his Christmas holiday. Murray explained, “Steve and I have been talking about working together for a long time, and I remember him showing me an early version of Puzzle Quest. This inspired me to make a game during my own holidays two years later, which was Flight Control – and now, another two years later, we’ve finally found a way to work together!”

Both studios are based in Melbourne, and will be consolidated in one location at Firemint’s recently expanded offices. All games developed by the studio will be released under the Firemint name. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Firemint

Firemint creates fun, addictive games. Founded in 1999 by CEO Robert Murray, Firemint is located in Melbourne, Australia’s games development hub, and employs 60 people. Firemint is the only developer to have been awarded Apple Design Awards for two different apps in one year, for Real Racing on iPhone and Flight Control HD on iPad (2010). Firemint’s accolades also include the Independent Games Festival Mobile award for Technical Achievement, International Mobile Gaming Award for Excellence in Connectivity, Pocket Gamer Best iPhone Developer, IGN’s Best of E3 Award and IGN Editor’s Choice Award.

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