Aussie studio Firemint acquired by EA

Tim Grey
5 May, 2011
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Aussie games developer made good Firemint, the brains behind the insanely popular iOS games Flight Control and Real Racing has been acquired by gaming giant EA Interactive.

Firemint’s first success, Flight Control, was created in three weeks by the company’s founder and CEO Rob Murray after graduating from the University of Queensland for around $50,000.  While terms for the deal weren’t revealed, The Age yesterday estimated Murray was likely to have received between $20 and $40 million for the studio.

In a press release announcing the deal, EA executive vice president and general manager Barry Cottle said that “the Firemint team is remarkable for its critical and commercial success,” and that the acquisition “will accelerate our position as worldwide leader in game development for mobile devices.”

Firemint is adamant its studio will remain in Melbourne despite the acquisition by an international firm.

“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,” says Murray in an online statement. “The easiest way to sum it all up is business as usual.”

Murray believes that partnering with EA allows Firemint to concentrate on games development, while allowing the studio to draw on its significant resources.

“It is a good deal for us, because we need EA’s help in order to win,” he says. “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.”

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