iQuarterback 1.1 from former Ensemble Studios devs

Mike Schramm
M. Schramm|04.14.09

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iQuarterback 1.1 from former Ensemble Studios devs

The folks at FuzzyCube Software dropped us a note that their first game, iQuarterback, is in the App Store now, and it looks all right -- rather than actually quarterback a game, you mostly just try to hit passing targets. And while the game is pretty barebones right now (it's only 99 cents, and they're planning to add new modes to it in the next version), the most interesting thing about the game isn't what it is, but who's making it: the guys behind FuzzyCube are a few refugees from Ensemble Studios, the legendary developer of Age of Empires that got shut down by Microsoft on the eve of their recent Halo Wars release.

Now that's interesting -- a big time studio forced to close by their corporate overlords is finding new life in iPhone development (FuzzyCube isn't the only studio to come out of the Ensemble breakup -- Robot Entertainment, Bonfire Studios, and Windstorm Studios are all being started by ex-Ensemble employees right now, though FuzzyCube is the only group to have released a game so far). Lots of game developers are facing a crunch right now, and with the iPhone easy and cheap to develop for, we might see even more of these former larger game devs turn to the smaller screen.

Update: My apologies to the folks at Newtoy -- they are apparently the first Ensemble refugees to have released an iPhone game, dropping Chess with Friends in the App Store last December. But the point stands: bigger studios who've been asked to dissolve can seemingly find a nice place developing for the iPhone.
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