8lbIndustry giant EA isn't satisfied with dominating the premium iPhone game market with App Store blockbusters like The Sims 3 [App Store], Need For Speed Undercover [App Store], Tiger Woods PGA Tour [App Store], and other titles which have all flirted with various positions on the top sales charts. EA is now setting its sights on the 99¢ market, which is where their new "micro-studio", 8lb Gorilla comes in.

8lb Gorilla is a team of twenty-something year old developers set loose by EA executives, in their words, "on an island" to develop indie-style simple pick up and play iPhone games. These 8lb gorillas, backed by EA (the 800lb gorilla) plan on releasing these bite-sized games on a near-monthly basis, pending no delays with the App Store submission process.

zombies_1

Their first entry in to this market is Zombies & Me. Instead of taking place in a post-apocalyptic world, the game is set during the apocalypse. Zombies are rising from the ground and the military is throwing down missiles left and right to try to fend off the attack. You play as Guy, and are tasked with the duty of protecting your grandmother who stays inside her house and periodically shouts various things at you.

zombies_2According to 8lb Gorilla, the average play tester was able to figure out how to play Zombies & Me within 5-10 seconds, and they weren't kidding-- The controls couldn't get more simple. Tapping the screen determines where Guy moves, and the goal of the game is to round up the zombies that chase after you and position them under one of the missiles.

Initially only dealing with a few zombies, the longer you play, the higher the panic level gets. As the panic level rises, more zombies appear until eventually you are running from swarms of dozens of zombies desperately trying to find an incoming missile to destroy them.

The gameplay is on par with what you would expect for a 99¢ game, and the overall production value of the game is in line with other EA titles. Zombies & Me is due out on the App Store "very soon", and needless to say, we're not only anxious to see what other games the 8lb Gorillas come up with, but also how the gaming community as a whole reacts to EA encroaching on turf previously claimed by indie developers.

  • randomdude

    Looks like some indie would have o advance their games before they get blown out of the water by the 8LB gorilla dont you say?

  • http://www.mobstarentertainment.com mek

    like the concept of the sub company, because it makes the app store more competitive, and gives us more...better games

    but this game specifically, i will pass..i just can't see myself playing it, more than 0 times...

    but i am looking forward to the other titles 8 lbs produces

  • Ataru

    This looks like something that would be fun for about 2 seconds, tops.

    EA, depth please.

    • Monkeys37

      Depth for .99? Let's have some realism here. You can't have everything.

      • Ataru

        I'm perfectly prepared to pay more for games with more depth.

        I'd snap up a full version fo Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea for the iPhone at 40x the price of a usual iPhone game without thinking twice about it.

    • Dark NRG

      Agreed. Colors/retro is cool, but it's a knockoff with not much playability. Of course, all that could change. If not, maybe we're in for a dollar junk store flood from all the biggies....

    • spiffyone

      Where in the announcement does it state that EA will cease to stop making "in depth" games for the iTouch/Phone platform?

      Oh...right...nowhere is such a thing stated.

      Instead this is a side studio. EA bankrolling this does not mean that they won't make another Need for Speed (as reported here, they are already well underway with another NfS game for iTouch/Phone), Tiger Woods game, Madden, or whatever else they've got cooked up. They're hitting two submarkets within the overall iTouch/Phone game market: "big budget" higher priced games and "low budget indie" low priced games. Again, they're doing the latter in ADDITION to the former.

      So, please...rethink your stance on this.

  • sundance kid

    game looks like a lot of fun, very polished, plus i love zombies ha :)
    i know it says expected soon, but has it been submitted already?

  • arn

    Interesting move by EA. and definitely an iPhone market move. I think this is the direct result of the 99cent pricing popularity. If people ask what's the consequences of a 99cent economy, this is it. This is meant to compete against the flight controls and pocket gods.

    Why spend more to make a deep 9.99 game when a casual 99 cent game can sell more than 10 times as much. Not to say EA isnt also doing the big titles any more but if those becme less profitable then the 99cent games will make more sense.

    arn

    • nizy

      Except, selling 1 copy @ $9.99 would be the same as 10 @ $0.99.

      • Yog Shoggoth

        And take months longer, and tens of thousands of dollars more, to make.

        They're aiming for a game a month, which means conveyor belt mentality. Meaning, they won't care if half the games suck. They see poor content outselling their premium content, and came to the conclusion that "if you can't beat em, join em".

        And that's what you get for buying crap. More of it.

      • spiffyone

        Actually, Yog...I would argue the opposite. Firms like EA, Capcom, Gameloft, Sega, etc. (the larger companies) all have an inherent advantage in that they can develop those bigger budget games and set price higher and not many consumers think twice. Those consumers think "of course I'll have to pay more for EA, Sega, etc. games...they're bigger budget".

        And in such a "higher budget, larger MSRP" submarket of the overall iTouch/Phone game market, these publishers stand alone. There's a lot more competition in the lower price range (dollar apps) than in the higher price range. What EA is doing here isn't "joining them", as they'll continue to develop larger budget, higher MSRP games. No, what EA is doing here is EXPANDING their base, and allowing them to attempt to corner both ends of the market (low and high priced games).

  • Titan-CC

    Even though I really don't like EA's games to much, I'm glad to hear this. EA makes polished games, and if they start making lots of these polished games for $0.99 then that means all other developers will be forced to also polish up thier games. To many apps are flooding the store in a seemingly half finished state. This move will hopefully clean up the new games coming out, and hopefully give us a few cool ones in the process.

    • Yog Shoggoth

      You must be familiar with the term, "polish a turd".

      Looks Good != Is Good, sadly.

      Of course I'm getting ahead of myself. The zombie game doesn't look very polished to me - bog standard, I'd say.

  • Kris Jones

    Bring it on, EA.

    An epic battle between monolithic development powerhouses such as EA and indie developers is sure to result is some pretty awesome games for gamers.

  • ShadowsFall

    Found a mistake in your writing :O... "they're weren't". It's like saying, "They are were not" :D, anyways, this looks like a pretty dull game. It's a bit odd without using weapons that you run away like crazy for... ever? Or maybe it has more into it than just that... I don't know, but atleast it's 99 cents.

  • yacoub

    So basically now the big dev houses are going to crash the party at the $.99 level the way they trashed the $9.99 market: By releasing lots of "stuff" of questionable quality (maybe a few shiny stars amidst it all, but in general most of it will be junk).

    First they took advantage of customers by putting out half-baked ports and big-name highly-marketed but low-quality or buggy games at $9.99, which has discouraged many customers from taking a chance of paying $9.99 in the future on games from unknown or indie devs, let alone big name studios, thus hurting the chances that indie devs can succeed when taking the time and effort to create a game with a lot of content and playtime and polish that would be reasonably worth $9.99.

    Now they're going to ensure that the $.99 market is much harder for indie devs by flooding it with trash games that you blow a buck on and delete from your device sometime between a few minutes and a few days after you bought it, again negatively impacting customer perception of apps at a given price point and making it harder for indie devs to get awareness of their apps.

    Lovely. =[

    • http://web.me.com/robertsammons rob s

      I wouldn't call them half baked ports, doesnt this make the psp and ds half baked saying there basically the same as the iphone version

  • oliath

    @yacoub
    I think the truth is that at the end of the day the quality of the individual game will win over.

    This game looks fun but i can name numerous other games in the appstore that look MUCH better for the same price.

    The simple fact that they aren't publishing these games directly under the EA name means they know that they are going to potentially be pretty low quality. Especially if they are releasing one a month.

    People will ultimately vote with their feet right?

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic

    so EA's slummin' it now?

    maybe it could take some initiative and bring out a swank controller/case addon, that it could hook up with the power of its library/developers?

  • Rad

    Looks like interesting game play, I hope they will add things as the game goes on like weapons you can find and shoot with or mines or traps you can drop. Bigger maps would also be fun.

  • Mavisto

    Yes typical of EA... if you can't own a market, destroy it by puting out high quality that only a 20 strong team can do when they have billions behind them. Why don't they actually nuture and help indies to make the games. Oh No.... they just want to destroy all competition with sub standard crap. Well I'm not going down without a fight. I worked for EA and I can tell you that at their core... They have not class, they have no honour and the have no soul..

  • Dark NRG

    Lowest common denominator= dollar apps

    But look at the difference between this gameplay depth and that of the coming Sheep vs Zombies.

    idk, Archon was an early EA game in the 80s, and another dev remade it.
    Why not do they're old stuff like M.U.L.E. or Worms (the origina artsy one, not the one YOU'RE thinking of lol)

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    This price development is not good!
    Not for the devs, not for the users, not for the games and not for the iPhone / iPod touch market. I would love to see more great 10 bucks titles to compete with other gaming devices. Very very sad movement right now, when even the big studios adapt.

  • Thor

    Cannot understand those programmers. You could do so much to make this a cool game. Give the guy a weapon. Incoming missles is so boring stupid. I was getting excited, when I saw the article. We all love the zombie stuff. But then I realised, it is only one more boring game concept for the app store. Sad, that is.

  • spiffyone

    And, again, people:

    EA is EXPANDING their base, not abandoning the "higher budget, higher priced" part of the iTouch/Phone game market. They're now targeting BOTH ends of the market. And, tbqh, this isn't all that different than EA developing a game for, say, 360 to be sold full priced at retail and then developing a smaller budget game to be sold for $10 or so on 360's XBLA service. Doing the latter doesn't mean that they stop doing the former. They're still gonna release NfS because it sells well a the current price (and sold well at $9.99 as well). Same deal with Tiger Woods Golf. Same deal with Madden whenever they release that one (and they will be eventually doing so).

    BTW...EA may refer to themselves as the "800 lb. gorilla", but, honestly, in terms of the App Store market, there's only one REAL 800 lb. gorilla, and that's SEGA. Why? IPs and backcatalog of past games. SEGA has that, EA doesn't. Sadly, SEGA hasn't recognized this fact.

  • POOPYEAGAMES

    poop on the face EA>>>>>>

  • Mishelle

    The soundtrack is gorgeous.

  • TouchArcadeLover

    I'd personally prefer TapStar over this lol and it's free http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=318909524&mt=8

  • http://www.giochiapalla.com Andrew

    I like the concept of the game, I think it is awesome!

  • http://www.thevideogames.it Giochi

    Thanks for your precious info

  • http://tournamentedition.synestra.net Tournament edition

    t's a bit odd without using weapons that you run away like crazy for… ever? Or maybe it has more into it than just that… I don't know, but atleast it's 99 cents.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roberta-Andrade/100001633721154 Roberta Andrade

    Giochi di Cucinahttp://www.giochidicucinare.it/Giochi di Cucina Online. Trova i migliori giochi di cucina online per giocare. Molti tipi di cucina e imparare nuove ricette, giocando con i suoi amici contro il computer. Ascolta la cottura con noi.