There is no doubt that PopCap have a dominate market on today’s casual games, but it now seems the company is looking to expand by launching a brand new label by the name of “4th & Battery”. 4th & Battery is going to be a bit of a developmental playground for PopCap, allowing them to launch new titles that are still in the testing phase. In a way, this kind of works like Xbox Indie games, except the consumers will be able to try out these new ideas while they are still in the experimental phase.
PopCap released this statement today for the launch of 4th & Battery:
“4th & Battery is a pressure valve intended to keep our heads from exploding,” explained Ed Allard, Executive Vice President of Studios at PopCap. “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 expected to produce several games per year, primarily small-scale, arcade-style games for platforms ranging from PC to Facebook® and iPhone. Unlike PopCap’s traditional franchises, some of the content emanating from 4th & Battery, including its initial launch title Unpleasant Horse, will be aimed at mature audiences.
“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,” explained Jason Kapalka, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at PopCap. “Expect weirdness.”
Unpleasant Horse will be available next month for the iPhone and iPod touch through the Apple App Store for the nice low cost of “Free” and will consist of “a strikingly unpleasant horse that sports wings and advances through the game by destroying small birds and landing on more pleasant horses from above”. A mature rated game with horses? Yes, I think we have a winner here.
Sounds pretty interesting and if this helps PopCap let their creative juices flow, I am all for it. With the many hits we have received over the years I have no doubt that there will be a lot more to come from 4th & Battery in the future, but for now you can check out the shiny new website for yourself at www.4thandbattery.com.