Console game developers start new iOS-focused studio

Jul 12, 2011
Games

A new game studio promises to bring more top-tier games to the App Store, and they’ve already got one in the works. The studio is called Uppercut Games, according to a story from PocketGamer, and they’re already working on a third-person shooter title called EPOCH. There’s a pretty sweet trailer circulating the Internet for the […]

A new game studio promises to bring more top-tier games to the App Store, and they’ve already got one in the works.

The studio is called Uppercut Games, according to a story from PocketGamer, and they’re already working on a third-person shooter title called EPOCH. There’s a pretty sweet trailer circulating the Internet for the game that shows a robot fighting off other robots by leaping between cover positions, unloading when he gets there:

What’s especially interesting about Uppercut Games is that it’s an independent studio founded to have an iOS focus, and it was created by two guys defecting from the world of traditional video game development. Those two guys are Ed Orman and Andrew James, a pair of developers formerly with Irrational Games – a studio known for the extremely popular and critically acclaimed console and PC title, BioShock. Both men were also working on another upcoming Irrational title, XCOM. As a studio, Irrational is currently working on another game, BioShock: Infinite, which has received an insane amount of attention and hype, and took numerous critics’ awards at 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles last month.

We come from the land down under

Uppercut is based in Australia, and while it’s a pretty new little studio, it’s already receiving some funding in the form of government grants.

The New South Wales Government has awarded a pair of Uppercut projects funds from its Investment Digital Media Fund – EPOCH, the game about fighting robots with robots, and another project called Terminus. That one hasn’t been revealed just yet, but it’ll be coming to mobile platforms and be available on the Xbox 360, probably as a downloadable title on Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.

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Orman and James jumping ship from consoles to iOS signals something of the environment currently encircling Apple’s devices. Namely: game developers want to make games for them. It’s hard to overestimate that, when staffers from well-known development houses, working on some of the year’s biggest games, would rather strike off on their own and create new titles for smartphones. Orman and James bring a combined 24 years of game-making experience to Uppercut, PocketGamer reports, so they know what they’re doing.

Many developers jumping ship

They’re also not the only developers making this move. Back in May, a few developers defected from an even bigger developer, Ubisoft – who were involved in huge franchises like the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series – to create The Game Bakers with a focus on triple-A quality mobile games. Anthony Gowland, formerly of Rockstar Games and with titles such as last year’s Western smash Red Dead Redemption under his belt, created Mainly About Games after leaving the studio.

As Gowland told PocketGamer, the mobile sphere opens opportunities for maximizing creativity in developers, and that’s a huge part of its allure. People who want to create interesting games are flocking to mobile gaming for the chance to make something new, and it’s because there’s so much opportunity in the technology and the ever-growing user base. It’s an exciting time to see what will be around every new corner.

The next corner seems to have EPOCH waiting around the other side. The game comes out sometime in the fourth quarter of 2011.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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