Running With Friends is the latest game from social gaming giant Zynga. And while we don’t normally cover their product launches, a key detail caught our attention: it’s being developed in collaboration with Eat Sleep Play, the developer of Twisted Metal for PS3.
The company was originally co-founded by outspoken developer David Jaffe, best known for his work on the first God of War game. Before the launch of Twisted Metal, Jaffe left the studio saying that he had “zero plans to make games like FarmVille and Angry Birds.” With today’s release of Running With Friends, it’s clear that Jaffe wasn’t going to fit in with the studio’s direction.
Running With Friends is yet another entry in the rapidly growing “endless runner” genre. However, ESP planned on differentiating the game by making it more gory, with bulls running over the players and tearing their guts out. However, Zynga had to curb their bloodthirst. “They wanted to move into mobile and partner with us,” Zynga’s Justin Cooper told VentureBeat. “They shared our vision of mobile gaming. They were a phenomenal partner, though they naturally tended toward a darker game. We shifted them to what we though was cute and funny.”
Instead, Eat Sleep Play was tasked with making the game “more fun,” and ultimately created the 3D engine for the title while adding polish to the game’s level design. And while it’s easy to compare Running to the already-popular Temple Run, the game attempts to differentiate by adding destructibles and random objectives into the mix.
The game is available free-to-play app on the App Store.
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Twisted Metal dev partners with Zynga on Running With Friends