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32 - Flight Control, the simple little iPhone game that helped redefine an industry
Episode 3219th May 2021 • The Life & Times of Video Games • Richard Moss
00:00:00 00:42:10

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How a game designed in a week helped to change everything — for the company that made it, for a local industry in turmoil, and for a global industry in transition. 

Features interviews with Defiant Development co-founder Morgan Jaffit and Firemint founder / Flight Control creator Rob Murray, along with a clip of former Touch Arcade editor Eli Hodapp.


  • You can't get Flight Control on iOS or Android anymore, but the HD Mac and Windows port is still available on Steam — if your computer is old enough to run it.
  • The clip of Eli Hodapp speaking on The Touch Arcade Show is from episode 222, published in September 2015 — shortly after Flight Control (along with many other EA-owned games) was delisted from the App Store
  • For more from me on the early mobile games business, be sure to check out episode 1 - Race to the bottom as well as the extended interview I posted with Pocket Gamer co-founder Jon Jordan after that episode came out. I also briefly touched on early iPhone hit Trism in episode 6 - ROM Hack — which featured Trism creator Steve Demeter talking about his stint in the ROM hacking and translations community.

If you're curious what these guys are up to nowadays, you'll find Eli at GameClub carving out deals to pull more old iOS and Android games out of purgatory and into their subscription catalogue. Rob is a stay-at-home dad, years deep in a bigger-than-he'd-expected project to design his family's new house. And Morgan is also enjoying the home life after winding down Defiant in 2019, happy that it had served its purpose and was no longer needed. He says he's also writing a script for a new game some ex-Defiant people are building, consulting on various upcoming game projects, and writing short stories (which he describes as a "very nice" change of pace, as he can get a story done in days rather than the years most games he's worked on took to complete).

Thank you to my Patreon supporters for making this episode possible — especially my producer-level backers Joel Webber, Vivek Mohan, Seth Robinson, Simon Moss, Carey Clanton, Scott Grant, Wade Tregaskis, and Rob Eberhardt.

To support my work, so that I can uncover more untold stories from video game history, you can make a donation via or subscribe to my Patreon. (I also accept commissions and the like over email, if you're after something specific or just don't want to deal through those platforms.)



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