IronMonkey and Firemint join to form Firemonkeys

Two local studios join to form a single entity under Electronic Arts.

Electronic Arts has combined its two Australia based mobile development studios, IronMonkey and Firemint, to form Firemonkeys. The merger between the two will mean Firemonkeys is now Australia’s largest game development studio. Electronic Arts said the merger was designed to create an "even more focused team."

Firemonkeys general manager, Tony Lay, sat down with us to shed further insight into the tie-up.

How did this merger of the two companies come about?

Firemonkeys general manager, Tony Lay (TL): We’re in the same location, doing the same type of games with the same values. It was a natural fit where [Firemint executive producer] Rob Murray and I could see the benefits in being able to share knowledge, resources and technology. It was official when we asked the team what their views were and everyone agreed. The team wanted to drop the cultural barriers that came with the two identities, and it was clear that there was strong mutual respect for each others capabilities. So the decision was made.

Why the name Firemonkeys?

TL: When we decided to merge, we took two months to look for a new name that we all wanted to champion, but nothing else was a natural fit. Firemonkeys was the obvious name that everyone was using unofficially, so we decided in the end to go with it. It was the best name that honoured the legacy of both studios. Besides, Firemonkeys is the coolest name out of the two studios. [Laughs]

Any reason why the merger was timed at this point?

TL: It was a natural evolution between two EA Mobile Studios already working side-by-side on separate projects. We didn’t plan on it happening from the beginning, but as time progressed we all believed that we would be stronger as one entity. We are proud of the quality of games we have made so far, of which leveraging EA’s vast resources and major IP has played a major part, and are really excited about the future. In terms of timing, we wanted the news to be separate from our product announcements, and made sure it was done before our big Real Racing 3 launch.

What is the benefit in merging the two studios into one?

TL: Our products ultimately. I’m happy for people to judge us on purely our products. Look at the improvements on both Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Real Racing 3.

How were concerns about the merger overcome?

TL: We involved a lot of people in our discussions to do it, so it was a proactive strategy. We try to keep everyone in the loop with studio decisions and get them involved to figure out problems. It’s about them more than anyone else. It was a chance for all of us to build towards a future together, so this would not have happened without their feedback. Honestly, I believe everyone was quite pleased and not surprised with the decision.

Any change in staff numbers?

TL: We’re actually hiring at the moment, so anyone interested should go to our web site at www.firemonkeys.com.au.

Will the two studios still work autonomously or share code?

TL: We have broken the teams down to product groups. So they will work autonomously as they all have and they decide how much they support they need from each other. Whatever they require to make their games successful, we will support.

Will the two studios remain in their current offices?

TL: We have been sitting in the same location for eight months, which led to this merger.

Will past games be rebranded with the Firemonkeys logo?

TL: They will retain their existing logos unless we are doing meaningful updates. We wouldn’t want to get our fans to update just so they see a new logo splash screen.

Any crossover titles in the future, such as Real Racing Vs. Need for Speed?

TL: [Laughs] We could see fun ways to share experiences across our titles. Right now, though, we just want to focus on developing our people to produce great games.

Want to read other video game interviews with key figures from Sony, Microsoft and more? Then check out Good Gear Guide's complete interview archive.

Follow Good Gear Guide Games on Twitter at @GameProAu or become a fan of the Facebook page.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags smartphoneselectronic artsfiremintmobile gamingFireMonkey

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?