PopCap announces new small games studio

4th & Battery designed "to keep our heads from exploding"

PopCap has announced the formation of a new small games studio which will produce several titles a year on various formats from PC to iOS.

4th & Battery will "create smaller, simpler, and sometimes edgier games without the typical constraints of an established global games publisher."

The company's first game, a free iOS title called Unpleasant Horse, will be available later this month.

"4th & Battery is a pressure valve intended to keep our heads from exploding," said PopCap's executive vice president of studios, Ed Allard. "The PopCap brand has become closely associated with ultra-high quality, polish and attention to detail - which is a great thing.

"But our standard game development process is therefore long and involved, and doesn't really accommodate all of the creativity pumping through our collective veins. 4th & Battery gives us a way to quickly try really strange or marginal ideas, and to give our designers a safe area to hone their chops."

"4th & Battery is a purely experimental, creative label with none of the typical concerns like schedules, profitability, or even target audience. It's kind of the video game equivalent of B-sides or short films," added Jason Kapalka.

"Expect weirdness."

More stories

John Vechey departs Popcap

"Maybe I'll stick with non-profit work, maybe start a new company"

By Rachel Weber

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets micro-transactions

"Players will be given the option to purchase coins"

By Rachel Weber

Latest comments (5)

Nick Burcombe CEO & Co Founder, Playrise Digital Ltd.9 years ago
This is seriously the thinking. If more of the big studios could adopt a slither of this mentality a new spur of creativity could really drive things forward without the calamitous risk. Whilst the big titles are making big money (assuming they are actually making money) - set some of your best people free to explore and see what happens.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Richard Alpagot9 years ago
Sounds cool... almost like fishin' for success... if the gamers bite, whack on a small cost and rake in some profit.

Also sounds like a public R&D department as well... interesting
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments9 years ago
Seems like a really good idea - wouldn't be surprised to see gameplay mechanics being road tested via this before being used in their bigger budget titles.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (5)
Rick Cody PBnGames-Board Member 9 years ago
Brilliant, satisfied workers and innovative products=an awesome studio
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Mark Venturelli Game Designer, Critical Studio9 years ago
PopCap is a kick-ass company.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.