An excellent interview has been posted over at vgmonline.net featuring Stephen Rippy – “Music through the ages.” The interview covers all aspects of Stephen’s career from his time at Ensemble Studios working on Age and Halo Wars to post Ensemble work with Zynga working on Castleville. We also learn about Stephen’s new recently released album “Mainland Static”. Read more
Yesterday Zynga announced the shocking news that it was closing its Zynga Dallas and Zynga With Friends studios. Prior to Zynga’s acquisition of these teams they were known as Bonfire Studios and NewToy respectively. It was not long ago back in February 2013 that Zynga’s Chief Operating Officer, David Ko announced that it was merging all of its Texas operations under a single office as part of cost cutting moves for the struggling company. Now it seems those cost cutting measures have gone even deeper resulting in the layoff of all staff from the studios formed by Ex Ensemble Studios members. Read more
Things have been quiet for the Zynga Dallas crew who used to be known as Bonfire Studios. Infact, we haven’t heard anything from them since they were acquired by Zynga this time last year. It was a pleasant surprise to see Zynga announce the studio had been working on an exciting massively multiplayer social game called “Castleville”. The press release reads as follows: Read more
Buyouts and Acquisitions – ngmoco acquired by DeNA and Zynga may have paid $6.3 million for Bonfire Studios
Shortly after Zynga acquired Bonfire Studios last week, Ngmoco the publisher of Bonfire’s We Farm game has also been acquired by DeNA a mobile and social games giant in Japan. DeNA is paying a huge $403 for ngmoco as reported by Gamasutra. This acquisition will enable DeNA to expand its market share from its Japanese region to cover the West as well with ngmoco’s titles according to the official press release as below: Read more
Some very interesting news has just surfaced in the last hour. Bonfire Studios is no more following the acquisition from social gaming giant Zynga. You may recognise Zynga for its incredibly popular (and successful) MySpace and Facebook applications, FarmVille and Mafia Wars. It would seem as though the creative minds at Zynga recognised the talent at Bonfire with many of its staff having heritage from Ensemble Studios. Here is the press release straight from the horses mouth:
Yeehaw! We’re thrilled to announce that Zynga is moving into the world of boots and BBQ today, with the acquisition of Bonfire Studios. Bonfire Studios brings world-class talent and an impressive résumé to the Zynga team, some of their employees having created popular PC and Xbox 360 games, such as Age of Empires, Age of Mythology and Halo Wars. Read more
Bonfire Studios have updated their website with a teasing image showing what they might be working on. The image shows four different types of games being Solitaire plus board, card and logic games. It looks like these games could be bundled in one game titled “Game Chest”. Take a look at the image below!
(Click to enlarge) Read more
I hope any readers with iPhones and iPads have been getting stuck into Bonfire Studios’ first game “We Farm“! The crew over at Bonfire have updated their studio blog with some tips on tricks to help you become a better farmer and get the edge over your friends. The blog posting also contains the id’s of some Bonfire staffers – make a note and you might find yourself playing with someone from Bonfire Studios!
Bonfire Studios today announces the release of its first iPhone game “We Farm” . We Farm is a strategy game for iPhone where players can build their own farm and raise animals to earn rewards such as blue ribbons to progress through the game. The official description is as follows:
We Farm is a new kind of animal. Build a barnyard, raise critters and bring home the blue ribbon.
Invite your friends to take pictures with your prize-winning pig and patron businesses on your farm. Visit theirs for inspiration. And compete for the title of finest acreage this side of the Mississippi.
- Raise horses, pigs, sheep, ducks and even ostriches, then compete for the blue ribbon at the county fair.
- Make your farm your own with over a hundred buildings, animals and decorations
- Plant veggies, fruit and flowers to earn your keep
Share your farm with your friends to earn extra coin and XP
If anyone has ever played FarmVille on Facebook you may find a similar expierence with We Farm but on the iPhone/Pad platform. If your interested in finding out more a video says a thousand words so take a look at this demo video demonstrating how the game works when building your first barnyard.
It looks like a great game and I wish Bonfire all the success with its release. Unfortunately I do not have an iPhone at the moment so am unable to offer a review but I would love to hear your comments. Post a reply to this blog or drop me a line on Twitter! Meanwhile I can provide some quick FAQ’s…
When is the game available?
Its available right now on the iTunes store for immediate download and is available FREE. So if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch then what are you waiting for? Head over to the iTunes Store to purchase or click the link below:
How much does it cost?
This game is free to play
Who are Ngmoco?
Ngmoco are publishing the game. You may have heard of them before as they have also worked in partnership with another studio formed by Ex Ensemble staff, NewToy with thier game “We Rule“.
When was this game released?
The game was available for download July 29th 2010.
Where can I find more information?
The official website for We Farm can be found at: http://www.ngmoco.com/we-farm/ which contains screenshots, videos, descriptions and blogs for the game – well worth checking out!
What’s next for Bonfire Studios?
Bonfire promises to produce further games for the iPhone / Pad platforms so keep an eye out for more iPhone games from Bonfire Studios soon!
A recent job listing on the Bonfire Studios website suggests that Bonfire may be pursuing game development opportunities with the mobile market including Apple’s iPhone / iPad and Google’s Android OS.
Bonfire Studios is seeking a talented programmer who loves programming games for mobile devices to join our team and share in the creation of our games and technology. The ideal candidate has industry experience in the mobile space including iPhone, iPad and Android, and has shipped mobile titles to his or her credit. This is a position that requires excellent time management skills and the ability to work in a self-directed manner.
Certainly seems like the studio has plans to develop some kind of mobile game. It is not known if mobile games are the core focus of the studio, it may well be the case that they are developing games for PC and / or consoles as well. The studio is also looking for network programmers for Xbox Live and PSN. More details about the new mobile job description appear below. Food for thought!
You have mobile game industry experience and we want to hear about it, including at least one shipped game on iPhone, iPad or Android platforms. You are a great programmer with excellent debugging skills and good design sensibilities. You love working with other people on a team and prize good communication. Burning passion for gaming and game development.
You have multiple shipped mobile games to your credit. You have experience working in Microsoft Silverlight. You have a degree in Computer Science or similar discipline (Physics, Math, EE, etc.)
Email us at: email@example.com. Attach your resume and cover/introductory letter in Microsoft Word (or compatible) format.