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Lolapps Gets Into Tech With Fliso Engine Acquisition

Ravenwood Fair developer Lolapps tells Gamasutra that it has acquired the Flash-based Fliso Engine, marking the company’s first step beyond app development and into the technology space.
Ravenwood Fair developer Lolapps recently announced that it has acquired the Flash-based Fliso Engine, marking the company’s first step beyond app development and into the technology space. Lolapps said in an interview with Gamasutra that this acquisition is part of a larger plan to incorporate technology into the company’s business plan. Company CEO Arjun Sethi explained that Lolapps decided to purchase the engine because of its proven success on the company's titles. "We use the engine right now for Ravenwood Fair, and it really is some cool technology. It's also going to be part of the games we are making for the future -- the engine is just super badass," he told Gamasutra. Fliso -- or the Flash Isometric Graphics engine -- was originally developed by a small team at Sean Cooper Games, and, as its name implies, specializes in creating titles played from an isometric perspective, such as real-time strategy or city-building titles. "Part of the reason we like Sean Cooper's engine is that he doesn't use Flash in the way that most companies use Flash. He's built his engine so that you can use the same process toward HTML5 or other platforms," Sethi explained, noting that the company could adapt the engine to emerging platforms other than Flash. "The goal is that we can move this over to any platforms moving forward, and that we're able to deliver the same kind of experience no matter what platforms may or may not arise," he continued. In addition to acquiring the tech, Lolapps has hired on Sean Cooper and his team, who will work from the UK, where the company plans to open a new branch. Cooper will head up the UK office as Chief Flash Architect, and will grow his team to manage the company’s technology development. With Cooper and his team working on the tech full-time, Lolapps plans to release two additional, updated versions of the Fliso engine this fall. Sethi pointed out that as of now, more than 15 developers are currently using the Fliso Engine, including four of the top five social game studios, and Lolapps plans to continue to make the tools available to these and other companies. "We're planning on giving the tools out for free to developers, and then we'll figure out what to do moving forward," Sethi said, "I think it's good [to give it way for free]. It ties into our strategy of working with developers for a longer term. The goal is to give it to developers to let them play with the toolsets, and also see what we are doing wrong and what we can do to improve."

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