Skunk Studios is an independent developer of casual games based in San Francisco, California. The
company was founded in 2001. It is currently owned and operated by game enthusiasts Jason Calderone and Thomas Estess. Skunk Studios games can be played for free in trial form, with the full version available for a fee. There games are available on Mac, PC, Mobile, Tablets and Smart Televisions.
Skunk Studios was created by a group of ex-Shockwave.com employees in June 2001 shortly after the Dot-Com era. The group met while working on an internal game project sold to Shockwave.com by several of the founders. The project was Tamale Loco: Rumble in the Desert II. This experience was the basis for the company's original name.
Skunk Studios was originally established as Skunkworks Games, referring to the Lockheed Martin division known as the Skunk Works. The term is often applied in business to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects.
It seemed to fit as several of the founders while at shockwave.com persuaded the CEO and person responsible for taking Pixar public, Lawrence Levy, to let them develop Tamale Loco in the same manner. To avoid infringing on the Skunk Works trademark the "works" was dropped and the final name became Skunk Studios.
Skunk Studios game development
In May 2001, the company was founded as an independent game development studio and experienced early success with titles like QBz and Gutterball. This afforded the small team to explore more titles like Sveerz and Spelvin. Skunk Studios turned their focus on the more popular genres with the hopes to innovate within the space. The company partnered with Big Fish Games and released Flux Family Secrets: The Rabbit Hole. Games developed by Skunk Studios include:
- Tamale Loco: Rumble in the Desert II (December 2000)
- QBz (September 2001)
- Word Up (March 10, 2002)
- Sveerz (November 2003)
- Spelvin (May 2003)
- Mah Jong Adventures (January 24, 2004)
- Varmintz (August 1, 2004)
- Tennis Titans (October 21, 2004)
- Flux Family Secrets: The Rabbit Hole (June 11, 2010)
- Puppy Stylin (May 13, 2009)
- Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect (April 11, 2009)
- Gutterball - Golden Pin Bowling (September 21, 2011)
- Daily Mah Jong (June 14, 2012)
Skunk Studios partnered with RealNetworks., a RealNetworks business, to offer a larger catalog of games. In early 2010, Skunk Studios and RealArcade ended their relationship. Skunk Studios partnered with Big Fish Games to continue offering a larger catalog of games. The service offers downloadable casual games with a try-before-you-buy model where consumers can play a selection of over 3000 games for free for 60 minutes, then have the option to purchase that game to keep playing.
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