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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Touch Press Games Apparently Just Released 30 of My Video Games, Which Is Cool But Emotionally Confusing

You know those video games I worked on for 4 years? The company, Amplify, was jettisoned by News Corp. Steve Jobs' widow bought it. They turned into a new company called Touch Press, and they are finally releasing the first games today on the App Store.

Via EdSurge:
During its heyday, Amplify touted its orange tablets as the tool that would transform digital learning experiences in school. Yet the company’s most impressive offering may have been its games. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company invested more than $25 million to partner with talented developers who built 30 learning games covering math, science and English Language Arts.

Unless you were a reporter or play tester, however, it was hard to get your hands on them. Only one title was available in the consumer market. The rest required a school license sold by Amplify.

The fate of the games seemed in limbo in Sept. 2015 after News Corporation sold Amplify. But now they have found a new home. Today, Amplify announced that it is merging its games division—the team and its assets—with StoryToys, an Irish developer of children’s learning apps, into a new company: Touch Press.
It's weird. I haven't touched them in years, let alone played them or worked on them. I'm not sure what condition they're in or what other games they're going to release, or when -- hey, I didn't even know they were out until someone in the office forwarded me a forward from another forward.

But I'm glad. I'm really glad. Like one of my coworkers said, "This is like seeing your kid graduate high school after his mother took away your visitation rights for the last decade."

But, hey. Now they're on their own. And I can finally stand back and kvell.

[go here to play them - free, I think!]


kaguya said...

Wow... You can't claim ownership or intellectual rights over your own creation? Did you have to sign that away as a condition of working for them?

matthue said...

No, no, no, not at all!!! The Touch Press folks have treated me totally awesomely. (And I should point out, I was just writer and/or game designer and/or editor on these games...literally hundreds of people worked on them.)

It just took me by surprise because I didn't know anything was going to happen with them!!

kaguya said...

I see. Okay. I guess it's kind of like me seeing some of my translation work out there (which doesn't go through that many hands, but it certainly a product of teamwork as well). Glad you are happy with the results!

matthue said...

Thank you so much for reading! Yeah, pretty much everything that gets made is a collaboration, including novels that hermitty misanthropic writers write. It's weird whose name ends up on the cover. This, coming from someone who stole a book from Franz Kafka....

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