Activision Veterans iPhone-Bound With New Studio

Activision co-founder David Crane has set up a new studio with long-time business partner Garry Kitchen. The company is set to focus expressly on iPhone development.

AppStar Games, which looks set to follow Crane and Kitchen’s previous iPhone outfit, Skyworks Interactive, will likely target the casual games market, putting together what commentators expect to be “bite-sized” nuggets of play designed exclusively for wireless devices.

Both Crane and Kitchen have left their positions heading up Skyworks, though the publisher, which has specialized in arcade-style sports sims and released around 40 titles in all, is yet to issue any official comment. However, UK trade magazine Develop believes that company CCO Bill Wentworth is also AppStar bound.

“Garry and I have worked together on a number of successful ventures over the years, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for investors and stakeholders,” Crane said in an official statement.

“We’re very excited about the dramatic shift that is occurring in the game industry with the advent of direct-to-consumer distribution of our titles. AppStar Games is committed to taking a leadership role in that transition by delivering the highest quality product in the marketplace.”

Crane has veteran status within the industry, with over thirty years’ experience in developing games. After a short stint with Atari back in 1978, Crane made most of his most famous titles at Activision, the likes of Pitfall!, 1984′s original Ghostbusters game, and infamous “movie-style” Sega CD launch title Night Trap all under his belt.

More recently, he co-founded Skyworks in 1995, and the publisher’s first iPhone release Arcade Hoops Basketball, designed by Kitchen, launched in April last year. Kitchen, who himself coded Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 in 1984, later admitted he’d only downloaded the iPhone SDK initially out of “curiosity”.

[source: Pocket Gamer]