Innovative Leisure is a startup that has reunited the creators of numerous Atari arcade classics and brought them together to tackle today’s arcade: iOS. The company was started by Seamus Blackley (co-creator of the original Xbox) and Van Burnham (author of Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984). While the founders of the company have impressive resumes, the talent they’ve gathered is simply mind blowing. Check out some of the amazing minds behind Innovative Leisure below.
Here’s an excerpt from VentureBeat’s exclusive on Innovative Leisure:
The ‘Jedi Council’ team includes Ed Rotberg, creator of the classic Atari game Battlezone; Owen Rubin, creator of Major Havoc and Space Duel; Rich Adam, creator of Gravitar and co-developer of Missile Command; Ed Logg, co-creator of Asteroids and Centipede; Dennis Koble, creator of Touch Me and Shooting Gallery; Tim Skelly, the only non-Atari veteran arcade game designer who worked for Cinematronics and created games such as Rip-Off; and Bruce Merrit, creator of Black Widow.
All told, there are 11 arcade game creators who are banding together at Innovative Leisure. They are joined by young interns in their 20s who will work with the veterans to help design new apps. Altogether, Innovative Leisure has 30 employees — a big team for a fledgling startup. To finance the overhead, Blackley has invested his own money and raised funds from publisher THQ. Next week in Las Vegas, at the industry’s Dice Summit, Blackley and his team members will talk about their vision for ‘the new arcade.’
The gathering of talent at Innovative Leisure is remarkable. Creating games for iOS devices completely makes sense for them too. In many ways, iPhones and iPads are modern-day arcades. For decades, many hardcore console and PC games emphasized long experiences that were mostly solitary. Today, many of the best iOS games are social and great for bite-sized chunks of gaming. The Atari creators excelled in these areas. It’s going to be cool watching these arcade legends create for modern devices. I can’t wait!
I highly recommend reading the full article by VentureBeat’s excellent Dean Takahashi. Check it out and let me know if you’re excited about the godfathers of Atari arcade gaming teaming together to create new games for iOS.