Merger creates FireMonkeys, Australia’s largest game studio

Merger creates FireMonkeys, Australia’s largest game studio

Electronic Arts has merged two of its Australian studios, Firemint and IronMonkey Studios, to form new a studio, the company announced today. The new studio’s name is a portmanteau derived from its progenitors — FireMonkeys.

EA purchased Firemint in May 2011, and IronMonkey back in 2010. The merger makes FireMonkeys Australia’s largest game studio, GameSpot’s Laura Parker reports. According to that piece, the two teams were already sharing a building and helping each other with various projects.

IronMonkey Studios are responsible for a raft of major mobile games, including Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge, Need For Speed titles Undercover, Shift and Hot Pursuit, as well as The Sims 3 and its two companion games, as well as The Simpsons Arcade game.

Firemint is responsible for 33 released titles since 2002. It started out creating Game Boy Advance and pre-smartphone mobile games, and eventually moved to an iOS-focused approach with forays into Nintendo DS and Playstation 3 hardware. It is responsible for hit titles Real Racing and Flight Control.

The fact that FireMonkeys, as a mobile-focused developer, is the biggest in the country is telling as casual gaming displaces budgets once set aside for core gamers. That said, Australia’s gaming industry has established itself as one that specializes in mobile games — the vast majority of major titles for PC and consoles are still developed in the US.

Presumably, the merger means more ambitious projects can be tackled, and the company is currently hiring.

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