John Earner, Simon Hade and ex Mind Candy CTO Toby Moore form new start-up Space Ape

Ex-Playfish GM’s new London studio comes out of hiding

The former GM of Playfish has formed a new mobile and tablet-focused studio in London studio called Space Ape.

The start-up was formed in May last year, and since then has quietly been building up its operations and working on its first game, strategy title Samurai Siege.

EX-Playfish GM John Earner, who left the social game developer in January last year, is the studio’s CEO, and he his joined by former Playfish senior director of product management Simon Hade and the ex-CTO of Mind Candy, Toby Moore.

The studio also houses a number of ex-staff from Playfish, which retired all of its games earlier this year.

To date Space Ape has raised $4.4 million in funding, and its debut title Samurai Siege is currently in beta in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Canada.

“We’re focused on mobile and tablet platforms both on Android and iOS,” Earner told Develop.

“Specifically, we’re focused midcore games. Midcore games being strategy games in our definition of it, the sort of person that use to play World of Warcraft or Starcraft would enjoy. This person no longer has time to play World of Warcraft, partly because they have children, a busy job or partly just because the world has become a faster paced place.

“So we make games that are easily accessible on the phones that those people own, for them.”

You can read our full interview with John Earner, in which he discusses the studio’s ambitions, how it operates and lessons learnt from the past, here.

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