Australian developer Halfbrick has received government funding for its new Sydney studio. The Fruit Ninja developer will be one of several Australian high tech companies taking advantage of the $3 million New South Wales Interactive Media Fund.
According to a government-issued press release, Halfbrick’s Sydney studio will be working on a new iteration of the Fruit Ninja franchise. Halfbrick has recently brought Fruit Ninja to Facebook as Fruit Ninja Frenzy, released a new game called Jetpack Joyride, created a Fruit Ninja spin off to promote DreamWorks’ Puss in Boots movie, and teamed with Chinese developer iDreamSky to develop a version of Fruit Ninja specifically for the Chinese market and has even released Fruit Ninja plush toys. In the press release, New South Wales’ Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner says the game would take Fruit Ninja in a new direction, but Halfbrick Marketing Director Phil Larsen tells Gamasutra that the gameplay details have yet to be finalized.
According to our AppData traffic tracking service for social games and developers, Halfbrick’s mobile offerings outside its core Fruit Ninja franchise have been in decline. While Fruit Ninja is still the #4 paid app and the #20 top grossing app, Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots has fallen to the #166 spot on the top grossing apps list and Jetpack Joyride has dropped down to #263. On Facebook, AppData shows that Fruit Ninja Frenzy has also seen a slight drop in the past month, with MAU falling to 590,000 and DAU to 70,000.