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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/09/09 - 1:13 PM Permalink

Congratulations to the Firemint team.

Your impressive sales figures are well deserved.

Scott.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/09/09 - 3:15 PM Permalink

Based on a 30% commission from Apple,

The net return from Flight Control would be around $1,050,000US, not bad for a game that probably took 1 or 2 people just doing stuff in their free time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 08/09/09 - 12:26 PM Permalink

Great to hear a success story out of Oz for a change.

Firemint announced yesterday that Flight Control, its world-wide hit game for iPhone and iPod touch, has landed over 1.5 million sales. The game was released six months ago on 5 March 2009, and has become one of the outstanding App Store success stories.

The wildly popular game has received rave reviews from players and reviewers alike, and has reached the #1 paid app position on the iTunes charts in 20 countries including USA, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Canada and Australia. Flight Control is the first paid game to have announced 1.5 million sales on the platform and its runaway success has spawned the entirely new “Control” genre, giving rise to numerous path-drawing games.

Firemint’s CEO, Robert Murray said “I’m just so incredibly grateful to all the many people around the world who have embraced Flight Control and helped us to reach this amazing milestone. There’s still a lot more Flight Control to come!”

Flight Control is loved by players of all ages around the world because of its simple yet highly addictive gameplay. Players take on the role of air traffic controllers, and touch and drag aircraft to their landing zones in gameplay that is perfectly matched to the iPhone’s interface. Since its release, several free updates for owners of the game have added a dedicated web site with extensive leaderboards and social network community features, new airfields and aircraft, and two-player mode.

Flight Control is available for US$0.99 from Apple’s App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/. For more information about Flight Control, please visit www.firemint.com/flightcontrol

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We're looking for two experienced game programmers with 2+ years of industry experience at an established studio to join our team.

Firemint is a highly regarded independent games studio with a particular focus on designing and developing fun, addictive titles for digital download to portable media devices. Firemint's award-winning games include premium licensed brands commissioned by the world's leading publishers, as well as original IP such as the world-wide #1 smash hit Flight Control and critically acclaimed Real Racing for iPhone. Our people work in small, tight project teams, typically for 6-8 months. Founded in 1999 and based in Melbourne, Australia, Firemint employs 35 people. Please visit our web site (www.firemint.com) and blog (www.firemint.com/blog) to find out more about us!

Requirements

* Fun. You should know how to make it!
* Understanding of 3D maths essential.
* Demonstrated understanding of how to translate a game design into code and fill in gaps as necessary.
* Ability to quickly understand new codebases.
* Passion for graphics programming and games.
* Genuine interest in mobile and handheld platforms.
* 3D graphics or mobile experience a bonus.
* Be self driven, with strong problem solving skills.

These are new full-time roles based in our studio, starting ASAP. Relocation assistance is available to the successful applicant, including visa sponsorship if you have 3+ years experience. Please check firemint.com/jobs for details on how to apply, or go straight to the application form at http://firemint.wufoo.com/forms/firemint-job-applications.

Firemint does not work with recruitment agencies. If you'd like to join our team, please contact us directly.

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Pocketgamer.biz have a great interview with Firemint CEO, Robert Murray, on their ambitious iPhone game, Real Racing. You'll find a lot of information on the AI, the engine, and numerous other technical accomplishments that Real Racing made, but what is remarkable is that this game was even made at all. Rob admits that a lot of money was spent creating Real Racing, as well as the infrastructure for the social connectivity capabilities, and that it made no business sense at all to do so. From Pocketgamer.biz...

(Rob) It was very ambitious and there were plenty of times when I wished I hadn't started the game. It wasn't just that we were developing this incredibly rich game, developing Cloudcell [Firemint's online platform] at the same time made everything even bigger and more complex.

It's a very hard decision to spend so much money on one game, so you really have to find something to believe in and believe in strongly...

At the end of the day though, I am incredibly proud of what our team has achieved, and I think I got value for money. I will say one thing however... I am very grateful for the success of Flight Control, which gave us some breathing space to really finish this properly.

Firemint has found the level of resistance of gamers to purchase $10 games from the appstore rather challenging, however does not feel it is necessary to drop the price down any time soon.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/08/09 - 12:52 PM Permalink

Methinks an isometric 3D update of the original Silas Werner / Muse Software Wolfenstein could potentially be a far better fit and still [ via an Apple emulator ] far, far more fun than trying to mash up this IP with a kind of simplified Eye of the Beholder. Now that it comes to mind, an intact Dungeon Master remake would be boss too. Props to the original.

Beyond Castle Wolfenstein [ and still the best Wolfenstein game ..! ]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5YuhTr79F8

-- Chuan

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 12/08/09 - 12:53 PM Permalink

...but why oh why does anyone think this is a good fit for the iPhone. The guy playing it is really struggling with the controls.

id Software's Wolfenstein RPG has been ported over to the iPhone by Melbourne developer, Firemint. It's just been released on the appstore, and it looks like the one and only programmer guru, John Carmack, is happy with the port. Here's what The Carmack said late last month to toucharcade.com about Firemint's efforts...

li: So Wolfeinstein RPG is ready to roll and EA is just sitting on it?

John: It's in the can, evidently there was some glitch where people were able to get it. It's based on the Java game that the id mobile team did, and Firemint did a really good job on making it up to iPhone quality levels. We provided a bunch more up-res'd art and sound assets but they did some good work on trying out different user interfaces to figure out how to take something that was designed for a clamshell phone and playing it on the iPhone.

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Submitted by designerwatts on Thu, 23/07/09 - 1:15 PM Permalink

It makes sense that they're approaching Sony's new hand-held the way they are.

When I think of a psp I expect games that are similar in scope and design as the PS2 era. When I think iPhone I expect more casual games like flight control and bejewelled. So expectations of both the depth and budget of a psp game is higher.

Adding to that is the PSPs track record. The first iteration ultimately failed to create a large enough niche for itself and the Nintendo DS ended up dominating the hand-held market. Sony has to come up with some pretty solid and compelling selling points in order to make non-sony developers go back to their system and spend the possible millions to develop a quality title on it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 25/07/09 - 6:03 PM Permalink

Readign this article made me think of something...

"The shorter the path between developer and consumer, the faster the market can grow and innovate"

Are we seeing the beginning of the end of game publishers? iphone apps store, a sony equivlent, XBLA, steam, etc. etc.

Will developers need a publisher to bridge the gape between them and the customer in the future?

Submitted by designerwatts on Sat, 25/07/09 - 6:46 PM Permalink

Realistically. You need publishers for a number of important reasons. And most of the time they are not the devil. :)

They provide the millions of dollars of funding for larger projects like mostly anything seen on the PS3 / XBOX 360 that comes in hard-disk format.

They fund large scale MMOs like World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online and Age of Conan.

They take care of extensive legales, copyrights , expensive marketing and they publish/distribute the game in hard format.

We are moving into an age where smaller projects that are distributed online can be feasible without help from a big publishing name. But even the smallest of projects can cost a few million to produce, and that money has to come from somewhere. :)

Submitted by souri on Sat, 25/07/09 - 7:24 PM Permalink

Publishers are needed to fund the big bucks required for marketing and development and they're very much well onboard with digital distribution, so they aren't going anywhere. Besides, someone's gotta take the losses from all the titles that don't break even..

Firemint are taking a cautious approach with the new contender in the handheld market, the PSPgo, as a game development platform. Sony's latest gaming gadget is set to take on the iPhone and Nintendo dsi, although it seems Sony may find it tough getting independent developers on board for it.

In an article featured at Gameindustry.biz, Firemint CEO, Rob Murray, talks about the differences in the games expected for the PSPgo compared to what's on the iPhone, and expresses some concerns on the barrier of entry for development on the PSPgo.

While the cost of development on the iPhone has attracted a huge amount of developers with a one-off $99 USD publishing requirement, PSPgo development will require a purchase of a $1,500 USD license kit. From Gameindustry.biz...

(Robert Murray) The big lesson Sony can take from the App Store and apply to its PSPgo digital distribution model is making things easy for both developers and customers...

The shorter the path between developer and consumer, the faster the market can grow and innovate

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 03/07/09 - 3:08 PM Permalink

Flight Control is already multiplayer, they'll probably rip that off too... eventually...

Can't get enough of Flight Control? Bored of directing Trains? Try managing Ships!

Another title that's trying to recapture some of amazing success of Firemint's Flight Control on the iPhone is Habor Master, a game where you route vessels of various speeds and sizes to a dock. From PocketGamer...

Yes, it's a blatant clone of Flight Control, but Harbor Master still has a strong identity all of its own...

It's hard to go wrong with this game even if it's always going to play second fiddle to the original.

I realise that the idea of Flight Control isn't entirely original (hey, what's really original these days?), but it's interesting to see how a great title can spawn so many clones that bring their own improvements.

It'll be interesting to see if Firemint has a follow up planned to compete with some of the new ideas and features that these clones are implementing. Multiplayer? Social integration? Multi-touch/accelerometre/compass involvement? I'm sure Firemint can come up with something!

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Digital Life has a chat with Firemint CEO, Robert Murray, to gather his impressions of the recently announced iPhone 3G S. The extra speed boost of the latest model along with the new 3.0 features announced by Apple has got Firemint excited about the gaming possibilities for the latest iteration of the popular mobile device. From WAtoday.com.au...

"The iPhone 3.0 software has introduced some new options for us," Murray says. "The 3G S takes it to another step again. The sort of power in the iPhone 3G S and beyond is incredible."

Firemint's Real Racing title for the iPhone already pushes the hardware capabilities of the iPhone 3G, with some commending it for its "PSP quality" visuals, so it would be definitely be interesting to see how much they can go further with all the extra power that the iPhone 3G S offers.

Read the Digital Life article here.

Well, Firemint have been pondering that very same question as well, and thankfully they've done a tech demo to show off what they can do on the new hardware. In a nutshell, Real Racing can do 6 cars on the track on the iPhone 3G, and on the iPhone 3G S? It can do... 40!!

Real Racing has up to six cars on the track at any one time. Since the game uses a high fidelity physics engine, adding cars is a good test for pushing the hardware. We started our tech demo with 8 cars on the track, then 10, 12, 16 and 20, and the 3GS still didn't break a sweat. We finally stopped when we got to 40 cars on the track at the same time, still with no perceptible drop in frame rate. We think the results are mind blowing.
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Victorian game developer Firemint's Flight Control has topped 1,000,000 downloads today across the world, making it undoubtedly one of the world's most popular games ever produced for the iPhone.

Minister for Information and Communication Technology John Lenders said the studio's first selfpublished title had caused a world-wide sensation, quickly becoming one of the most popular games in the world according to Apple's "Top Paid Apps" charts, rising to the number one position in 20 countries.

"Games are more than entertainment – they are a large part of Victoria's Information and Communication Technology sector providing jobs for thousands of Victorians," Mr Lenders said. "Flight Control is a simple but fun application now enjoyed by over one million people across the globe.

"Firemint has quickly developed a world-wide reputation as an industry-leading game developer."

Mr Lenders said Firemint's second self-published game Real Racing, launched last week, was already creating a stir in the industry.

"Here's a game made in Melbourne which is at the absolute cutting edge of this technology - there is no other game available that will demonstrate the new high powered hardware of the iPhone 3GS as impressively," Mr Lenders said.

"Firemint's success highlights the calibre of games development talent in Victoria. More than half of Australia's games industry is based in the state and the Victorian Government supports studios to bring their ideas to market. We know that there is a strong pool of ICT talent and innovation in Victoria and by assisting companies such as Firemint reach both a domestic and international audience we are helping them to become a success."

Based in Richmond, Firemint has been developing games since 1999. The studio has created over 30 titles for leading international publishers, and is now using its skills and experience to branch out to designing and releasing original, self-published titles.

Firemint CEO Rob Murray said that the calibre of games development talent in Victoria was part of the advantage.

"A few years ago we employed 10 people and we're now employing over 30 so it's vital we can source people with the high level skills we need," Mr Murray said.

"There's serious talent in Melbourne in our sector and there's a strong culture of continually pushing the boundaries here to succeed in global markets."

Both Firemint games are available for download from Apple's App Store and more information is available at www.firemint.com

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Submitted by megaderek on Fri, 12/06/09 - 10:38 AM Permalink

I bought this game yesterday and indeed it's a very good racing game. I tried other racing games on iPhone and none of them were anywhere near as good as Real Racing. Well done Firemint.

This week saw the release of Firemint's highly anticipated iPhone racing game, Real Racing, on the appstore. The Melbourne studio has been working very hard on this title which is set out to become the new benchmark for games on the mobile platform. The reviews are rolling in for it, and boy, it's getting some very favourable comments from reviewers with some equally impressive scores with i.

You can check out a round-up of the reviews at http://firemint.com/realracing/reviews.html , however, I think the MTV Multiplayer review is a pretty good summary of them all...

"...more detailed and fully-featured as any other iPhone racing game before it... extraordinary level of depth and variety... No one has done better asynchronous multiplayer on the iPhone yet... Despite the 10 dollar entree fee, "Real Racing" is well worth cash. It's an incredibly deep game and will offer hours of value for your money. Oh, and definitely use CloudCell. It's easily the most interesting aspect of the game and sets "Real Racing" apart from any other iPhone racing titles before it."

I guess it's safe to consider all racing games on the iPhone truly outdone now. Speaking of which, why didn't Apple grab Firemint to showcase their technically and visually superior racing game instead of that crappy one that was shown at Apple's WWDC '09 just this week?

Check out the video for Real Racing below, and after the footage, we have the press release for Real Racing so you can check out all the incredible features..

(Press release)
Firemint, a leading developer of games for iPhone and iPod touch, today announced that its highly-anticipated racing game Firemint Real Racing™ is now available for purchase on the Apple App Store. Firemint Real Racing is Firemint's second self-published game and follows on from the phenomenal success of Flight Control, which has gone to the #1 paid app position in 20 countries including the USA, UK and Japan. With over 800,000 downloads so far, Flight Control is one of the most popular games ever to be sold on the Apple App Store.

"Firemint Real Racing is about as different as you can get from Flight Control in terms of scope, depth and features, but the two games both show our absolute commitment to delivering a highly polished, incredibly fun experience to iPhone and iPod touch gamers", said Robert Murray, Firemint's founder and CEO. "Firemint Real Racing has been a labor of love for the Firemint team since we first began building the game more than a year ago. Over the years we've had lots of experience in mobile racing game development, and our main goal with Firemint Real Racing was to create the most realistic, highest quality racing simulator ever to debut for a mobile device. We believe we have delivered on that goal."

Firemint Real Racing provides gamers with the most thrilling racing experience by featuring a unique in-car view and carefully balanced, intuitive accelerometer support. Players will also enjoy a full suite of social networking features enabled by Firemint's revolutionary Cloudcell™ technology, which allows users to automatically upload video replays of their best laps to their YouTube account and lap time records to social media sites like Twitter - all straight from the game.

Murray commented, "In terms of features and budget, Firemint Real Racing would have to be the biggest independent mobile game ever made. Our solid experience and track record made us confident in making this investment, and the Apple App Store made it possible for us to self-publish the game."

Kynan Woodman, Firemint's Development Director said "We believe we have set a new standard for App Store racing games. Firemint Real Racing realises the promise of power and elegance that the iPhone and iPod touch present as a gaming platform."

Firemint Real Racing features include:
* Boasting via broadcast – upload video replays of your laps to YouTube with the push of a button.
* Unique in-car view – cockpit view with animated driver and dashboard instruments showing actual race data.
* Custom control options – Firemint Real Racing includes several different control methods including combinations of accelerometer or touch-based steering as well as automatic or touch-based acceleration and braking. Players can adjust handling and sensitivity to suit their personal preferences.
* Huge variety of cars and tracks – Players can unlock 36 cars in three classes (hatch, sedan and muscle) and 12 unique tracks designed for racing, each with its own challenges.
* Endless hours of racing thrills – Players can choose from five game modes: local head to head over WiFi, Time Trial, Quick Race, Online League play and a massive single player Career mode.
* Best in class graphics, sound and handling – Firemint Real Racing delivers consistently high frame rates, carefully detailed trackside environments and cars, 3D sound effects, licensed music and cinematic cut scenes. Accurate surface variations including asphalt, grass, gravel and ripple-strips affect vehicle speed, responsiveness and handling.
* Connected racing for extended gameplay – In addition to YouTube functionality, players can sign up for online leagues and set up customised personal leaderboards on a purpose-built community web site.

Firemint Real Racing is available for US$9.99 from Apple's App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at www.itunes.com/appstore/

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