Developer Simple Lifeforms announced its opening in Nottingham, England, and it plans to develop and publish social games that combine features from MMOs, such as Runescape
and World of Warcraft
, with online social networks.
The company was founded by chief creative officer Tadhg Kelly, who was previously a scene designer at Fable
developer Lionhead and senior game development manager at British Sky Broadcasting; and CEO Alan O’Dea, who served as the business development director at Monumental Games, the studio behind MMO sports game Football Superstars
Simple Lifeforms is currently developing Spell Souls
, a free "social strategy game" slated to launch for Facebook in early 2009. In the game players form teams, manage resources, cast spells, summon souls for battles, and compete in leagues against other spellcasters around the world.
The studio secured an initial round of investment from regional screen agency EM Media, through the European Regional Development Fund and local angel investors.
"We formed Simple Lifeforms to use our video game development and publishing experience within social networks," says Kelly. "Social networks are a key platform for delivering new kinds of games through a new distribution model. During our careers to date, we have been involved in making many types of single and multi-player game across all platforms, but the games we have always wanted to make are more social in nature."
He continues, "We are interested in the dynamics of groups, in how communities can form through the common interest of a play experience, and how this play can translate into a whole virtual life online. There is a lot of talk about social experience driving a new gameplay revolution on the internet. To our minds, however, play has always been a social experience.”