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Mobile Game Development News

Mobile gamer uses Cow And Chicken to grab slice of booming market

DUNDEE STUDIO Cobra Mobile has signed a deal with American giant Turner Broadcasting to create a video game based on its popular television series Cow And Chicken.

Turner Broadcasting, a Time Warner company that operates CNN, TNT and the Cartoon Network, has dabbled in the mobile phone games sector before but is now making a major push through a handful of games developers.

Cobra, which was founded by Mark Ettle two years ago, has agreed to create an action game for an undisclosed sum. It should be available on all the mobile networks by late summer. Other games are also under discussion.

The deal is expected to raise Cobra's profile in the games industry, where it has already produced mobile versions of Sensible Soccer Skills, Carol Vorderman's Mind Aerobics and Lego Bricks.

Ettle said that Cobra, which has developed its own technology platform to allow its games to be played across more than 100 types of handsets, was well placed for major growth in 2007 and 2008. It has created new intellectual property for 3D mobile phone games and is releasing three titles over the next two to three months.

"Traditional mobile games are flat 2D, sort of what you were looking at with an original PlayStation. 3D allows a better visual experience," said Ettle.

Cobra, which has 11 staff, is also poised to be the first Scottish company to launch its own online casual games portal, called www.cobimobi.com. Casual games, which are typically puzzle, logic and quiz titles, are mainly downloaded through these types of portals and are growing in popularity.

"The site is up. The games are in the final stages of development. Within the next two to three months, they will be available for download and sale for a one-off fee," said Ettle.

Ettle was previously managing director of developer Simian Industries. He resigned in 2004 and the company sunk into administration 18 months later.

Ettle's latest venture Cobra is being backed by property developers Peter and Michael Mackintosh. The games industry is a risky punt but the investors were attracted by the Cobra business model.

The Mackintosh brothers, who in conjunction with financial adviser John McGinley have contributed in excess of ?500,000, were attracted to the lower cost structure involved in producing mobile phone games as opposed to the millions required for a console game.

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