Games publisher Activision is setting up a mobile games studio, but before you roll your eyes in despair you should know one important fact: Team 17 co-founder Martyn Brown is involved.
According to a report by GamesIndustry International
, Brown has been hired as a consultant on the project which will see Activision's Leeds-based studio grow to around 40 employees.
Brown is perhaps best known for his role in founding UK gaming giant Team 17, the company responsible for classics including Alien Breed, Assassin, Project-X, Body Blows and - perhaps the most famous game series of all - Worms. The original Worms alone outsold FIFA 96 and Tomb Raider at launch, and would be ported to platforms including the Amiga, PC, Mac, PlayStation, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Jaguar, Mega Drive, and Saturn before finally ending up as a mobile game on modern smartphones.
Although the company would have a few hiccoughs along the way - including a well-publicised feud with Amiga Power magazine over its review scoring policy
- there's little denying that Team 17 had a major impact on the games industry from the 90s onwards, and is a name that many gamers will remember fondly.
Currently, there's little in the way of details regarding the work Activision's as-yet unnamed mobile-centric studio is to undertake. A spokesperson has refused to be drawn on the matter, beyond confirming the mobile studio's existence and stating that the company looks forward to revealing more 'in the future
With Brown on-side - his LinkedIn profile currently lists him as a 'Developer Relations/Management Consultant' at 'TBA' - there could be hope for the project: Activision is likely to push for mobile-friendly spin-offs from its established franchises, but Brown could be well placed to convince the company to invest in some original IP.
The increasing power of smartphones - many of which feature gigahertz-plus processors with two or four cores, high-performance OpenGL ES 2.0-compatible graphics hardware and 1GB or more of RAM - coupled with the ability to connect many to Bluetooth or USB gamepads and Full HD HDMI displays promises much which has yet to be delivered by the majority of mobile games.
A new studio, particularly one with Activision's not-inconsiderable financial backing and a gaming industry veteran on side - could do much for improving the state of mobile gaming while pushing it away from its current trend to 'casual' titles and Angry Birds knock-offs.