6waves Lolapps elevates mobile game plans, buys Escalation Studios

Elevator attendantDespite getting off to a relatively uninspired start, Hong Kong-based social games publisher 6waves Lolapps (6L) wants to be on your iPhone or Android phone in a big way. And it's willing to do whatever it takes it get there, even if that means spending a few extra bucks. The joint publisher announced that it has acquired Dallas, Tex.-based mobile games maker Escalation Studios (creator of Yeti Town) for an undisclosed amount.

Having previously worked with the developer, 6L has integrated the Escalation team into its existing product development team, and the studio will continue to create such games for the publisher. Marc Tardiff, one of Escalation's three co-founders and now a 6L design director, thought the acquisition is a good fit.

"Originally, our relationship was one of publisher and developer," Tardiff tells us. "But as we worked together, we quickly realized that 'Hey, there are actually a lot of similarities between ourselves and 6waves Lolapps as far as the kind of games that we want to make and our philosophies behind building games.'"
Escalation Studios
Founded by folks hailing from the world of traditional console and PC games in 2007, Escalation made the shift to mobile around halfway into its life, looking to capitalize on the rampantly-growing smartphone games scene. Now, the studio has mobile games for properties like the timeless Doom series, the feature film Inception and its own original game ideas, like Splode, under its belt. The group of Texan developers are even working on a few smartphone games for 6L as of this writing.

"There are a couple titles that are actually in development at Escalation right now that are unannounced that are kind of on the larger scale," Tardiff reveals to us. "Kind of cross-platform between various mobile devices, almost MMOish [massively multiplayer online game], if you will, that we'll be talking about more in the coming months." While Escalation also has forged relationships with plenty of lucrative brand-holders, we're told that the studio will focus primarily on original game ideas.

6waves Lolapps"I think we'll take it on a case-by-case basis, because we haven't worked with the brands before," 6L CPO Arjun Sethi tells us. "It's just going to be: 'Does it make sense for the company in the long term? Will it be a good user experience? And, at the end of the day, will it be a good game?' And if all of those are a 'yes', then we'll seriously take a look at working with bigger brands."

The originally-Chinese social games publisher has offices in Beijing, Tokyo, and San Francisco. And with the Escalation Studios team, the company's overall headcount is now more than 210 employees worldwide. While 6L is likely excited to have its own weaponry in the ensuing mobile games battle between the likes of ngmoco, OpenFeint, EA and even Zynga, Tardiff and the Escalation team are just feeling the rush of creating games on a platform he feels is akin to the early days of PC gaming.

"That's what really excites us is [that] we kind of get to invent almost an entire new type of gaming," Tardiff gushes. "And, given that a lot of us under this roof were around for the early days of PC gaming, it's almost like a little bit of déjà vu."

What will come of 6L's much deeper focus on iPhone and Android, based on its work on Facebook? Can 6L catch up with your ngmocos and OpenFeints of the mobile game world? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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