The company is launching a new label, 4th & Battery, named after the intersection where you’ll find PopCap‘s Seattle headquarters. The new project is dedicated to producing small, quirky games much quicker than the snail’s pace adopted by the casual games king.
Ed Allard, PopCap EVP of Studios, explained the new label:
“4th & Battery is a pressure valve intended to keep our heads from exploding.
“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.”
…and if you were expecting more sunshine, lollipops and rainbows as we’ve seen from PopCap in the past, you might like to think again.
Players take on the role of – wait for it! – a strikingly unpleasant horse that sports wings and advances through the game by destroying small birds and landing on more pleasant horses from above. Landing atop other horses enables the player to force them earthward into a perpetual meat grinder for extra points and special bonuses.
The new label is expected to produce several games per year, focussing on smaller-scale, arcade-style games. Look out for them on PC, Facebook and iOS devices.
Jason Kapalka, PopCap co-founder and Chief Creative Officer chuckles:
“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.