Rare veterans start new studio Flippin Pixels

Five staff form mobile studio with 20 years of Rare experience behind them

Five veterans of Microsoft's Rare studio have left the company and formed a new business, Flippin Pixels.

Having worked on 20 years worth of Rare games - from Blast Corps and GoldenEye to Viva Pinata and Kinect Sports - the team is now setting its sights on the booming smartphone and tablets market.

"It's a new challenge, we've all been very much in the traditional console space for years," Steve Brand, studio director, told GamesIndustry International. "It sounds like a cliché but we all fancied the change. And the opportunities that are there within the space, we thought we could really offer something with all our experience behind us."

The team may be from a console background, but having left Rare in stages last year, Flippin Pixels is switched on to the realities of the mobile market.

"We have a lot to learn, but what we do bring is years of console experience and high quality execution," offered James Ackroyd, software director.

"We've only just recently been looking at how to monetise through games. The nature of the mobile market is so fast moving you can't afford to stay on something for months. You need to get it out there while it's still fresh. It's a little bit like buying a lottery ticket but if you've got the quality there hopefully that rises to the top."

The rest of the team consists of art director Steven Hurst, design director Shaun Read and technical director Gary Richards, who had been with Rare for 22 years with a large part of that time focussed on handheld game development.

The shift from consoles to mobile formats was a natural progression and reflection of the team's own interests, according to Brand.

"I grew into a different type of gamer," he said. "I always considered myself a core gamer. But as years pass and you get older, you have family and time becomes more precious so you consume games in different ways. Personally I've moved to a mobile and tablet area in terms what I do. It's exciting to explore new opportunities in those areas."

The studio is already working on a number of projects and confident the game mechanics will stand out in what is already a crowded gaming market.

"Some of the concepts we're working on right now are very robust," adds Brand. "We've got some really nice game mechanics and monetisation structures throughout them. We'd like to think that every game we've worked on has either raised the bar or enhanced a certain genre in some way and we'd like to continue with those Rare ethics."

"We have a concept that's actually partway into development and the rest of our concepts are in paper form and bubbling to the surface. We'll build those out to a bigger business plan and approach publishers with them, that's one of the short-term goals," he revealed.

More stories

Building an Exploding Kittens transmedia universe

Elan Lee talks about making a mobile game for Netflix and the company's ultimate aspirations

By Brendan Sinclair

Sowing the seeds of stability: Ten years of Supercell's Hay Day

Game lead Stephan Demirdjian, designer Camilla Avellar and artist Sari Latvala discuss the lifespan of the farming hit

By Danielle Partis

Latest comments (12)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 9 years ago
Good luck guys.
The switch from console to mobile is a very steep learning curve indeed. It is almost a different industry.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Good luck guys :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Gavin Price Studio Director & Founder, Playtonic Games9 years ago
All the best chaps! Great "catalogue poses" too... :)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (12)
Steven Brand9 years ago
Thanks Gavin...those poses are quite special!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steven Brand9 years ago
Thanks Bruce, Looking forward to tackling the challenges ahead!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jamie Read 3D Artist, Neon Play Ltd9 years ago
All the best. It's always exciting when new studios form; great name for it too! :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Roberto Bruno Curious Person 9 years ago
well, good luck, but in all honesty I can't help but see my interest in a new developer taking a nosedive every time the studio claims to aim at the mobile market.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design9 years ago
Good luck, chaps!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd9 years ago
Best of luck to you guys. I grew up on Rare games, and would love to play more from the craftsmen of many of my best childhood memories. :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Saehoon Lee Founder & CEO, Pixellore9 years ago
You guys don't need any luck with all your experiences and skills. But if you want, here is my best of luck to you guys. Just like you said, I am also trying to apply those "Rare ethics" Here at Kuno Interactive too.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nick Ferguson Director, ID@Azure, Microsoft9 years ago
Good luck! Can't wait to see what you guys come up with. :)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bjorn Toft Madsen Senior Technical Director, King9 years ago
All the best guys! Will be very exciting to see what you come up with!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.