Simon Oliver’s Handcircus studio was one of the biggest winners in the early days of the App Store. His game Rolando was originally published by Ngmoco back before the company went completely bonkers with social and free-to-play casual games. After Rolando 2 sort of sputtered out into the marketplace, hamstrung by Ngmoco’s own strategy, Oliver and his company strayed away from iOS and created a game called Okabu for the PlayStation Network.

Oliver is coming back to iOS, according to The Guardian. The company has been working on a new mobile title set in the same universe as Okabu that will again be free-to-play. But before Rolando fans worry, don’t forget that the app market changed a lot in the few years since Rolando was released, and Oliver himself has changed as well. “When Ngmoco decided to go free-to-play, I didn’t know how to make games like that,” he tells the Guardian. “But ideas have been bubbling away for the last couple of years.”

I’m interested to see what Oliver gets up to. He suggests that Handcircus still may use a third-party publisher to get the game out, which is a little bit worrying. But it’ll be good to have one of the biggest original iPhone devs back on the platform with a new release.

Handcircus set to return to iOS with free game based on Okabu originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 29 Mar 2012 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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