Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Former EA devs' Simply Sweet Games aims to "raise the bar for the entire industry"

Industry veterans Tina Merry and Carina Kom have formed a new studio, Simply Sweet Games.

Headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, Simply Sweet Games is a fully remote studio that is currently developing its inaugural mobile title – the roguelike word puzzle Criss Cross Castles.

Merry and Kom have over thirty years of experience in AAA, mobile, and indie game development. Merry worked at Electronic Arts for nearly 15 years as a development director, having overseen development and shipping of titles such as FIFA, Need for Speed, and Battlefield.

Kom also worked for EA as a development manager between 2020 and 2022, and has collaborated with Microsoft and Unity. She was also a game designer for BlueBat Games and East Side Games, as well as a co-founder and producer for Crash Wave Games.

“[Criss Cross Castles] aims to attract both dedicated roguelike players and those who aren’t traditional fans by combining the complexities of word games with the dynamic gameplay of roguelikes, creating a unique crossover genre,” Simply Sweet Games co-founder Kom tells

“In the world of mobile games, it’s tough to offer something unique that can stand out among the established giants,” she notes. “By merging the best aspects of word games and roguelikes, [we’re aiming] to create an engaging and fun experience for everyone.”

Both co-founders have collaborated on numerous events within the industry, such as Diversity in Games and the PVP Entertainment Guild. The idea to form a studio occured after a meeting at GDC in 2023 following Kom’s decision to step back from her role at MixMob.

“Within a short span, we made the decisive commitment to wholeheartedly launch a new studio, driven by our shared passion for innovation and inclusivity in the gaming world,” Merry says.

Simply Sweet’s co-founders decided to move away from AAA to “craft inclusive and accessible experiences” for players and to lessen the risks associated with AAA game development, such as rising costs and lengthy development cycles.

“The inherent nature of indie games enables us to bring our creations swiftly and affordably to market and adapt with agility to our audiences’ evolving preferences,” Merry explains.

“Our goal is to increase the chances of success for investors and partners by focusing on a more sustainable and responsive approach.”

And while they’re focusing on mobile for the time being with Criss Cross Castles, that’s not to say that consoles and PCs aren’t out of the question.

“As we extend our reach and game offerings, we are committed to continuous refinement, iterating, and exploring diverse platforms, including PC, Switch, and streaming sites,” Merry adds.

To stand out further among other titles in the word puzzle genre, the duo is betting on a premium business model rather than free-to-play for Criss Cross Castles.

“The idea is to create a polished, deep, and ad-free experience that can raise the bar for the entire industry,” Merry adds. “And to make sure that the experience is seamless and enjoyable, analytics are used to anticipate player needs.”

Merry and Kom plan on doing this by continuously enhancing their games by focusing on player testing to gather insights before and after launch.

“This strategy not only keeps the game fresh but also underscores our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in design, recognising the diverse preferences within our player base.”

As for their hopes for the studio, Merry says they want Simply Sweet Games to be rooted in diversity and inclusivity.

“We want Simply Sweet Games to be around for a very long time and aspire to be a brand that is synonymous with inclusion, respect, and fun, bringing games to market in a celebration of global collaboration, creativity, and accessibility.”

Popular Articles