Other Ocean develops SEGA game for iPad

Deana Stokes Sullivan
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Other Ocean Interactive, a video game company, founded by Newfoundland siblings Andrew and Deirdre Ayre, have partnered once again with SEGA of America, this time to bring "Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition" to Apple iPad users.

Other Ocean Interactive earlier redeveloped "Super Monkey Ball" and "Super Monkey Ball 2" for iPhone and iPod touch. The games were originally designed for Nintendo Game-Cube and Wii consoles.

A screen image from SEGA's "Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition," available exclusively on the new Apple iPad. Other Ocean Interactive, a company founded by siblings Andrew and Deirdre Ayre of St. John's, were secretly working on developing the game prior

Other Ocean Interactive, a video game company, founded by Newfoundland siblings Andrew and Deirdre Ayre, have partnered once again with SEGA of America, this time to bring "Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition" to Apple iPad users.

Other Ocean Interactive earlier redeveloped "Super Monkey Ball" and "Super Monkey Ball 2" for iPhone and iPod touch. The games were originally designed for Nintendo Game-Cube and Wii consoles.

"Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition" brings all the fun of the popular game to Apple's new iPad, released Saturday, along with four new mini-games - Monkey Bowling, Monkey Target, Monkey Golf and an iPad exclusive, Monkey Base.

"We are very excited to be part of the iPad launch with this great franchise," said Other Ocean CEO Andrew Ayre. He said the company is also proud to be one of the first developers to have shipped an iPad-exclusive title.

Monkey Base allows up to four players to fight it out on the same iPad by launching orbs at each other to try to be the last monkey standing. Players can also experience 10 iPad exclusive levels from the Far East world, in 3-D graphics.

Other Ocean studio head Deirdre Ayre said Monday the game was developed for iPad in the company's P.E.I. studio, with some art support from the company's art team in St. John's.

Having already worked on games for SEGA of America, she said SEGA asked Other Ocean to work on this game for the iPad in "total secrecy."

"We worked on an iPad simulator," Deirdre said. "We had limited exposure. One of our programmers had some exposure to the actual device and went out to California to do that, but the game was basically made on a simulator so that it would be ready for the release when the iPad came out Saturday."

She said it's big news in the games industry to be able to work on property for a new device that has as much hype as the iPad.

"It positions us extremely well for that new platform."

Deirdre said most developers have to wait until a new device is available before they get an opportunity to make a game for it.

Gordon Wood, Other Ocean technical director, said the iPad's high resolution screen and multi-touch makes an "amazing" difference.

"Everything that's great about 'Super Monkey Ball 2' can now be played in Sakura Edition, only on a bigger screen and with even better graphics, new mini-games and more levels," Wood said. "Fans are in for a real treat."

The iPad exclusive "Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition" is available on iTunes for US$12.99.

Other Ocean Interactive develops games and enterprise software for all platforms.

The company has development studios in Charlottetown, P.E.I and in St. John's, as well as in Emeryville, Calif. Other Ocean and its sister company, Sculpin QA, employ more than 80 people.

Deirdre said when the company opened its St. John's office in November, 2008, it started out with six people, but today there are 30 employees in St. John's.

The St. John's office was responsible for developing Ubisoft's "CSI: Deadly Intent - The Hidden Cases" for Nintendo DS, which was released several months ago and is based on the popular CBS television series.

Other Ocean is currently working on a "well-known Disney property," but Deirdre said she's not permitted to say what it is yet. It's expected to be released within the next six weeks.

"We've got other properties we're working on in the St. John's studio, but none of them that we're able to talk about right now. They are all for big well-known properties," Deirdre said.

Weblinks

www.otherocean.com



dss@thetelegram.com

Organizations: SEGA of America, Apple, Nintendo Game-Cube CBS

Geographic location: California, St. John's, Newfoundland P.E.I. Far East Charlottetown Emeryville, Calif.

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