PlaySide Studios announces their first game, Catch The Ark

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PlaySide Studios, a new Melbourne based mobile games developer consisting of former Visceral Games Melbourne employees, have announced their first game, Catch The Ark.

Catch The Ark aims to push the endless-runner genre further, so expect fast paced obstacle dodging and a whole bunch of coin collecting, as well as some mini-bosses and dangerous creatures thrown in the mix as well. The visuals are coming along extremely nicely too and the game features three cute characters who command a raft in a frantic race to survive a cataclysmic flood (inspired by the Noah's Ark biblical story) and all the hazards thrown at them along the journey.

In a fascinating feature at The Verge by Tracey Lien, PlaySide CEO, Gerry Sakkas, describes the abrupt cancellation of their 2-year-in-development multiplayer shooter called Blood Dust at Visceral Games Melbourne which was aparently 90% complete. He provides why he decided to stick around and continue games development in Melbourne when owner, Electronic Arts, pulled the plug and offered to relocate staff for positions overseas. From The Verge

(Gerry) "I spent two years working on a game that ended up going nowhere, and I didn't want to go to another studio and have the same thing happen. What's the difference whether I'm here or at EA in California? Two years later we could be gone, and I just didn't want to spend another two years of my life on a project that might not launch.

"I'd rather put that in my own hands and deal with it myself. I wanted to stay here and help rebuild this industry.

Gerry explains what he did next to get PlaySide Studios off the ground, starting by bringing in fellow workmates who were also let go from EA Melbourne and getting investors interested in funding the new start-up with a long term plan in keeping this studio around. The team is small, just six games developers, but they're taking a leaf from Halfbrick Studio's book and are aiming to build this studio bigger and bigger. They want to rebuild the local games industry.

Catch The Ark is coming out to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in Q3 2012. You can check out more of Catch The Ark at the website: www.catchtheark.com