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Bungie: AAA experience useful for mobile development

Aerospace portfolio director says mobile tech rewards big-budget experience

Bungie's Bernie Yee believes that AAA experience is increasingly necessary for effective mobile development.

Yee is the portfolio director for Bungie Aerospace, the studio's initiative to help mobile and social developers create and distribute their games.

Speaking to VG24/7, Yee said that Bungie's time working with Microsoft gave the studio "perspective" on the value of independence, and Aerospace will allow it to bring that experience to bear on the new platforms that emerged during that period.

"We look at the hardware platforms, and they're becoming more powerful and relevant," he said. "So I can't speak for other studios, but for us, the values Bungie brings to game development are applicable to iOS."

"So remember five years ago when it was the original iPhone? The mobile scene was very different. The palette was so limited. What would our guys do to a mobile game dev back then? We'd have nothing to contribute. But now the things we have are really useful."

The rapid progress of mobile technology is exposing the inexperience of many developers working with platforms like Android and iOS, and Yee believes that the same thing is about to happen with social networks.

"I was talking to a developer, and they're looking at Facebook games. One of his concerns was 'What happens when - through Flash or some other technological adoption - 3D [graphics] become relevant in social games?'"

"I mean, Zynga already spends billions of dollars and dozens of people. They're worried about that transition. That's a time when we can really help developers manage that."

Bungie Aerospace's first game, Crimson: Steam Pirates, has been a critical and commercial success on the App Store, but Yee says the company is already looking beyond iOS for its future projects.

"You'll see us on the PC. You'll see us on other handheld devices. We obviously like Android quite a bit. We have a lot of people in the office with Android phones. Certainly different means of digital distribution are really interesting to us. I wouldn't even rule out XBLA or PSN."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.