Nice Touch Games talks Crazy Horses

Ex-Sony London devs switch to mobile.

Developers who worked on cancelled PlayStation 3 exclusives have formed an indie studio and released their first game exclusively on Windows Phone 7.

Designer Richard Bunn and programmer David Green left Sony London Studios earlier this year following a round of redundancies at the PlayStation manufacturer.

Bunn and Green worked on cancelled PS3 exclusive Eight Days and other Sony projects before deciding to join forces to form Nice Touch Games. Their first game, action adventure Crazy Horses, is out now for Windows Phone 7.

"It's a manic game where it's about saving cute things from being maimed and slaughtered," Bunn told Eurogamer. "The horses are roaming around under their own free will. Every level has got some danger in there. If you don't round them up they're mince meat."

So why did Bunn and Green decide to switch triple-A home console development for mobile phone development?

"This was something you talk about continuously," Bunn said.

"You've always got a ton of little ideas you don't stand any chance of making when you work for a big studio. They don't want to know. They don't really give you any outlet for making games of the sort we've gone ahead and made.

"We really do think they would benefit from allowing people to run their own little side projects in the same vein Google allow 20 per cent time, where they give their employees one day a week to work on whatever they like. That gets talked about a lot in EA and Sony and some of the other companies I have friends working for.

"They would love to have just one afternoon a week to just go and do their own thing and explore their own avenues of interest, but the company gets full access and rights to all of that.

"It would be great for morale and could lead to good things. You just don't get given any time to do that."

In March Sony cancelled a number of games in development at its UK first-party developers and made an undisclosed number of people redundant.

Projects at Sony London, Sony Liverpool and Evolution Studios were axed.

"It has been decided that production on a small number of projects within London Studio, Studio Liverpool, and Evolution Studios will be streamlined or closed due to a portfolio review and project prioritisation," Sony said in a statement issued at the time.

"This decision was made following an internal review of all games and it was deemed that with the incredibly strong list of exclusive first party titles coming up both this year and in the near future, resource should be reallocated to enhance those projects closer to completion.

"The affected first party studios have been and will continue to be vital assets within the WWS family, and have a history of producing genre defining games such as MotorStorm, WipEout, SingStar and EyePet. This decision will have no impact on the role that our first party studios will play in the future of all PlayStation platforms."

Following the layoffs, Bunn and Green spent their own money to create Crazy Horses, "and we do need it to be profitable."

"It's a new thing for the both of us. It's only ever going to be Dave and me. We're only ever going to do things we can handle. In situations where we want to do a little bit more we'll pull on some collaborators.

"The soundtrack to Crazy Horses is a piece of royalty free music. Those are the kinds of the things we can afford to do. It's about making the best out of the resources we have available to us."

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director  |  wyp100

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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