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Ninjatown maker announces new Arcade initiative

Venan Entertainment unveils new IP focus and its first self-published iPhone title

DS and mobile phone developer Venan Entertainment has announced the creation of a new game development initiative called Venan Arcade.

It's hoped the initiative will enable the studio - developer of DS game Ninjatown, which currently scores 80 on aggregate games review site Metacritic - to step out of the shadow of the big publishers starting with the release of an as yet unnamed iPhone and iPod Touch game due later this year.

"Although Venan has been a prominent developer in mobile for many years, our primary business model has been behind-the-scenes contract developer for publishers like EA, THQ and Sega," said Brandon Curiel, CEO and lead designer at Venan Entertainment. "Venan Arcade represents our initiative to step out from behind the curtain and deliver great gameplay experiences directly to our consumers."

The studio will be focusing initially on Apple's App Store for delivery of its titles and has expressed a desire to create products that are both affordable and accessible.

"With the App Store, all the traditional notions of price points have changed," said Curiel, "What people are learning is that consumers are much more willing to try new experiences when you reduce the barrier of entry. And when you deliver a great product that is fun, accessible and has great value, the sales will take care of themselves."

The first title to be released under the initiative is described as a non-linear top-down shooter based on a familiar model but with new gameplay elements designed to appeal to all types of gamers - an ethos future games will also follow according to Curiel.

"Our philosophy is that Venan Arcade titles should cater to everybody's play style, whether it's hardcore or casual."

A formal announcement of its first title, due for release in early September, is expected later this week.

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Kath Brice

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