Seattle, WA – July 9, 2013 - Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC announces the formation of EarGames, the game development arm of Brian Schmidt Studios. EarGames, headed by Xbox launch team veteran and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Brian Schmidt, will focus on the creation of games and interactive applications that are driven primarily by sound instead of visuals. Initially EarGames will target mobile devices and tablets.
“I’m excited to extend our company into the game development business itself.” said Brian Schmidt, Creative Director. “Audio games represent an underexplored segment of the video game industry. We’re tremendously excited to focus on the ways that 3D audio and other creative uses of sound can be the center of gameplay.”
EarGames uses a custom 3D audio technology from QSound Labs, creators of Virtual Haircut, the most widely heard 3D audio on the internet. Schmidt’s experience in 3D sound and videogames stretches back over more than two decades, when he designed the 3D audio chip for Capcom’s arcade game system, and continued through the Xbox, where he first brought interactive Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound to console videogaming.
EarGames will initially target the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. “The combination of computing power and portability in a device used with headphones makes mobile devices an ideal platform for sound-based videogames,” said Schmidt. “EarGames focus on sound-based gameplay opens up unique and novel gameplay experiences for a wide variety of gamers in a market hungry for them.”
“Our audio games are designed to be played and enjoyed by anyone who loves gaming,” continued Schmidt. “Although our games are not specifically created for the blind gamer, we understand that audio games are a natural fit for the visually impaired community. We work hard to ensure that our games are fully accessible and fun for both sighted and visually impaired players.”
EarGames’ first title, Ear Monsters, now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, has been described as an “audio Fruit Ninja,” and uses 3D sound to place enemies around the player.
EarGames, a division of Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC, is an independent game developer based in Bellevue, WA dedicated to making games where sound drives the experience. It’s founder, award-winning composer, sound designer and audio technologist Brian Schmidt, has spent more than 25 years in game music and sound, working on games and game technology for companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Zynga, Capcom, Sega, NAMCO, Electronic Arts and myriad others. For 10 years, Brian was in charge of the audio architecture for the Xbox program at Microsoft, where he is credited for bringing digital 5.1 surround sound to console gaming and also created the Xbox ‘start’ sound. In 2008, Brian was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Audio Network Guild.