Australia’s Halfbrick Studios, creators of Fruit Ninja, has just acquired Spain’s Onan Games, developers of the Mandreel technology for porting games across platforms from a single C++ code base. The buy will let Halfbrick efficiently deliver its games to iOS, Android, and Facebook while making other studios pay it to do the same.
By using Mandreel to quickly launch its chart-topping native mobile games on the web and HTML5 as well as collect licensing fees, Halfbrick could boost revenues while keeping the team agile. Like a clan of ninjas…that dine only on fruit.
Efficiency is key for Halfbrick, which only has $3 million in funding from an Australian government grant. Halfbrick’s been around making Game Boy games since 2001, and this acquisition will give it the flexibility to adapt to today’s increasingly fractured gaming. landscape
Onan Games is just a baby by comparison, having opened last year, but it already provides a wide variety of crucial middleware services for game developers. Halfbrick will both use Mandreel for running C/C++/Object-C source code where its not usually supported, and license it to other developers. Past Mandreel clients include Rubicon Development and Glu, which used it to repackage mobile games for the Chrome web store.
Onan also offers virtualization tech that can port old games for systems like the Sega Genesis and NeoGeo to new platforms. It’s developed engines for building new games on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Windows, MacOSX, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Finally, Onan provides online multiplayer technology and wrappers for delivering games on Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network.
If Halfbrick already had a big vision, now it has the means to execute. It’s first mission will be to bring Fruit Ninja and JetPack Joyride to Facebook and the web so you can chop and soar on bigger screens.
Halfbrick has been on the forefront of the Australian game development industry for many years. Recently, after many years of developing licensed titles for platforms such as GBA, DS and PSP, Halfbrick has begun expanding its portfolio with a range of independently released games for downloadable platforms.