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4mm targeting untapped gaming markets

Ambitious start-up made up of Rockstar and Def Jam talent catering to "markets that aren't being catered to what-so-ever"

Ambitious start-up 4mm Games has said that there are plenty of new opportunities in the gaming market, catering to audiences that have been largely ignored by the videogame business.

And the company, which counts ex-Rockstar co-founders Jamie King and Gary Foreman, as well as respected Warner and Def Jam music exec Paul Coyne as its core team members, intends to utilise emerging online business models to create titles that span formats and different entertainment genres.

"From a content perspective there are loads of games that aren't being made that we'd like to make. Def Jam Rapstar is just the first of many games were we think there are segments of the market that aren't being catered to what-so-ever," offered Nicholas Perrett, CEO of 4mm, speaking in an exclusive interview published today. "We felt there was a really unique game we could bring to the music market.

"The same goes for some of the other titles that we've got, some of the browser-based games that we're working on to address different types of gameplay, different platforms that other people aren't doing that we think should be done. There's lots of blue ocean out there that we should be making games for."

The company has "less than ten" titles currently in development, including browser-based projects, and Perrett is keen to combine the ease and accessibility of online social gaming with the sales potential of home consoles.

"If you look at a social gaming company as they exist today, they're actually extremely limited in terms of the gaming experiences they can offer. But the principles of playing with friends and sharing achievements over social networks, or free to play and micro transactions, these can co-exist with an entertainment property on a home console," he said.

"I don't think of the portfolio of games that 4mm is developing the console is going to see the majority share by number of titles but it may still be by dollar value."

Also key is working closely with other entertainment industries, as 4mm is currently with the Def Jam label, to create win-win projects for both businesses.

"Some of the things that have happened in the music category over the past few years have created a number of high-profile head-butting incidents," according to Perrett. "There's definitely a jockeying of 'my industry is better than yours'. I just firmly believe if you approach these situations with a mutual respect and a mutual understanding of what each other brings to the table you can create a partnership that will deliver value to both sides," he added.

"It shouldn't be a win/lose relationship. Why not have a music label invest in the game? Because then their interests are absolutely aligned with the game. The better they pimp their music, the more royalties they will make on games. It doesn't have to be one at the exclusion of the other."

And the company will continue to work with other development studios to create the final products, as it has with Ghostbusters team Terminal Reality on Def Jam Rapstar.

"From a content perspective it's more like emulating a film production company," detailed Perrett.

"Think of us as a small team that are focused on creative direction, art-style, with a game designer, and a very small team that plays a very consultative relationship. They are important to embody the philosophy and vision of the games we want to make."

The full interview with Nicholas Perrett, where he discusses the forming of the studio, its relationship with music labels and how it found it easy to raise investment, can be read here.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.