After running part one of our interview with Patrick Wylie, the VP of Big Fish Game Studios, your friendly neighborhood gaming journalist got sidetracked a bit with health problems. Don't worry, I seem to have pulled through okay. In case you missed the interview, Big Fish - one of the leaders in casual gaming on PC - has announced both Xbox Live Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 ports of their marquee title Fairway Solitaire. The game is already a huge hit on PC, Mac, and iOS – even people who don’t normally care for Solitaire games (like me) love it.
Check out part two of our exclusive video interview after the break!
Patrick was kind enough to sit down for quite a lengthy interview. In the second half of our discussion, we cover the following topics:
- The reasons Big Fish has finally decided to support Windows Phone
- Big Fish’s two subscription services: the Gamers Club in which users receive one game a month at a discount, and Big Fish Unlimited, a streaming games on demand service. Big Fish Unlimited supports not only PC but set-top boxes like the Roku as well. Eventually Big Fish Unlimited will come to tablets and phones too.
- Could Big Fish unlimited come to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 someday?
- What plans does Big Fish have for Windows Phone if Fairway Solitaire is a hit?
- The role and evolution of hidden object games in Big Fish’s lineup
- The challenges of squeezing larger, more elaborate games into mobile devices
- Patrick’s opinion of the Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 user interfaces and how consumers will react to the new platforms
- Will the Microsoft Surface be a good home for Fairway Solitaire?
The ultimate card game
Fairway Solitaire is the first officially announced Windows Phone 8 game. By combining the traditional card game of solitaire with golf and puzzle elements, Big Fish has created a much larger game that will appeal to mainstream audiences and solitaire fans alike. For more in-depth discussion of the game, check out part one of our interview.
The race to launch
Big Fish plans to develop future Windows Phone games in house, but in order for Fairway Solitaire to meet the Windows Phone 8 launch window, Big Fish looked to a developer with intimate knowledge of the upcoming platform as well as the existing ecosystem: Chicago-based Babaroga. Many of us remember them from their excellent adaptation of the Zombies!!! board game on Windows Phone. By all accounts, Babaroga worked extremely hard to get a playable build of Fairway Solitaire up and running against a super tight deadline.
The Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 versions of Fairway Solitaire are expected to release near the launch of both operating systems. If you’d like to sample the game right now, try this free Flash version or pick up the Windows 7 version from the official Fairway website.
Many thanks to Susan Lusty at Big Fish for going out of her way to arrange the interview during this year’s Casual Connect Seattle, and of course to Patrick Wylie for his honest and informative answers!
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