New social gaming startup opens in Nottingham

Monumental and BSkyB vets form Simple Lifeforms

Two games industry veterans have banded together to start a new social gaming company, called Simple Lifeforms.

Based in Nottingham, the company is the brainchild of ex-Monumental Games biz dev director Alan O’Dea and BSkyB’s Tadhg Kelly. The team seeks to unite the best features of online games and social networks to create free-to-play titles that have elements of co-operative play, friend making and even dating.

The company has already received investment from regional screen agency EM Media, the European Regional Development Fund and local angel investors. It hopes to launch its first game, Spell Souls, on social networks in ‘early 2009’.

“We formed Simple Lifeforms to use our video game development and publishing experience within social networks," said Tadhg Kelly, COO.

"Social networks are a key platform for delivering new kinds of games through a new distribution model. We are interested in the dynamics of groups, in how communities can form through the common interest of a play experience, and how this play can translate into a whole virtual life online. There is a lot of talk about social experience driving a new gameplay revolution on the internet. To our minds, however, Play has always been a social experience.”

CEO O’Dea added: "460 million people everyday use the top six social networks and 12 per cent of these are already playing games. Social gaming is going to be a significant and sustainable market sector in its own right and one that combines the commercial opportunities of online games – billing, business models and monetisation methods– with the growth opportunities and communication features of social networks."

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