UPDATED: Flight Control developer, Firemint, acquires Infinite Interactive to boost range

Firemint's acquisition of Infinite Interactive (of Puzzle Quest fame), creates a new large Australian ISV in the wake of the demise of Krome Studios

Two Australian entertainment ISVs have joined forces, with Firemint acquiring Infinite Interactive.

Both are Melbourne-based games developers. Firemint is best known for its Apple App games, such as the runaway smash Flight Control, while Infinite Interactive is the developer behind the popular Puzzle Quest series. The combined company will employ around 60 people, making it one of the largest games developers in Australia.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in a release, however Infinite Interactive founder, Steve Fawkner, has taken on a product management role within Firemint. The two teams will be brought together to exist within Firemint’s larger Melbourne office.

In the near term Infinite Interactive will continue to work on a game it had under development prior to the acquisition. Firemint founder, Rob Murray, said that although the plan was for the two teams to be integrated completely in the future, exact details were still to be worked out.

This may also be the first exposure Firemint will have to the retail environment. Previously distributing content purely through digital distribution channels, the acquisition of Infinite Interactive – which has published games such as Warlords and Puzzle Quest through the retail channel – may give the developer new relationships with publishers and distributors.

"That's [retail presence] certainly one of the stregths that Infinite brings to the company," Murray said. "It's something we'll consider in the future, but we haven't made any firm plans yet."

The acquisition comes at a tough time for the Australian ISV environment, with fellow major games developer, Krome Studios, announcing its closure late last year, and a strong Australian dollar affecting overseas opportunities.

Murray said there were no plans for additional acquisitions. "I'm not on an acquisition path," he said. "This was something Steve [Fawkner] and I had been talking about for quite some time, and it was a good time commercially. Further acqusitions would need to follow a similar scenario where we want to work with someone else creatively."

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Matthew Sainsbury
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