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Ensemble Vets Form iPhone Developer Newtoy

Brothers Paul and David Bettner, veterans of shuttered Age of Empires creator Ensemble Studios, now run iPhone game development studio Newtoy -- and collaborate with artist Ashley Wood on second game World War Robot.
Brothers Paul and David Bettner, veterans of shuttered Age of Empires creator Ensemble Studios, are now running a new iPhone game development studio called Newtoy. Quietly founded in 2008, the studio is now releasing its second iPhone game, World War Robot, in a collaboration with graphic artist Ashley Wood -- also creator of the Metal Gear Solid PSP digital comics. "We share a dream for a new kind of game development," says David Bettner, Newtoy's creative director. "World class game makers from around the globe -- artists and illustrators, designers, musicians, coders -- joining forces to craft the highest quality entertainment experiences on the most cutting-edge game platforms." Newtoy is the third known studio to surface from Microsoft's closure of Ensemble in September 2008. Former CEO Tony Goodman launched Robot Entertainment, which continues to support Halo Wars, while David Rippy and former management team members recently established Bonfire Studios. "We are moving away from the monolithic studio model of development," says Bettner. "We want to redefine the way video games are made. This collaboration with Ashley is that dream, realized." Newtoy says World War Robot depicts a war between Earth and Mars featuring giant robots, "intense human/robot drama, a little black humor and some political intrigue thrown into the mix." The studio's first title, Chess With Friends, is a 3G multiplayer-enabled iPhone chess game.

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