By LUNENBURG, N.S. — Like the sports heroes his employees create to weave by opponents on virtual playing fields, Jeremy Wellard is finding that his East Coast video game studio has to adapt to ever-changing options and challenges.
The 38-year-old British immigrant’s firm, HB Studios Inc., was born in unusual circumstances in the historic port of Lunenburg.
The video game designer, who followed his Nova Scotian wife home, set up shop in the small town and broke into the industry by creating Cricket 2002 for industry giant Electronic Arts of Redwood City, Calif.
That exclusive relationship led to rapid growth for HB, which went on to develop Rugby 2004, generating sales of 680,000 units, as well as a street soccer game, FIFA Street, that has 590,000 in sales.
Now, with the end of HB’s exclusive contract with Electronic Arts in January, Wellard has launched into a world beyond one big client, shifting focus towards North American sports and preparing the launch of its own titles for new publishers.
This week, the company heads to the Games Convention conference in Leipzig, Germany, to shop around HB’s new music title, tentatively named ‘‘Gods of Rawk.’’
It has been developed for the Nintendo DS system — a flip-open, hand-held console with two cigarette-box sized video screens.
‘‘The music title is a rhythm game, like Guitar Hero, but also has singing, playing the bass, playing guitar,’’ Wellard said in an interview last week...
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