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Jason Citron was one of the iPhone's first big name developers. He and partner Danielle Cassley created a game called Aurora Feint way back in the early days of the App Store, and while that game didn't do as well as hoped, the duo and their backers eventually catapulted that title into its own social gaming platform called OpenFeint. That platform was later acquired by Japanese social network GREE, and Citron left the company that he originally founded last September.
Now, Citron's back with a new venture, called Phoenix Guild. He's working on assembling a team that will, as he says, build "core games for gamers on post-PC devices." Citron's always been a fan of traditional gaming and "really rich, engaging games," and his new company, which was just funded to the tune of $1.1 million by venture capitalists (including his former OpenFeint supporters at YouWeb), is aiming to build those types of core, traditionally console style games for modern mobile devices like Apple's iOS devices and even Microsoft's upcoming Surface console. "It seems obvious to me," Citron says during a chat this week with TUAW, "that core gamers are moving from PCs to other devices and tablets," and Phoenix Guild's goal is to provide great core games on those new platforms.
What exactly does Citron mean when he says "core games"? "Mass Effect, Call of Duty, and even Bastion," he says, rattling off a few popular and well-received console titles from the past few years. Citron agrees that you can't just "take what works on an Xbox and put it on an iPad," but he says there's a deeper experience that consoles currently provide that's not yet reflected on a lot of mobile games.
Citron's also convinced that
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