PopCap (they of Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled fame) have announced the creation of a self-described ‘experimental’ game label – 4th & Battery.
The intent is to farm out more unusual or flat-out bizarre ideas to this label, and release them without the pressure of a heavily targetted demographic or cramped deadline. “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,” says PopCaps Ed Allard.
This all sounds wonderfully arty and Factory Records-esque (except that Factory Records wasn’t backed by a gigantic commercial enterprise, I suppose.)
The first planned release, Unpleasant Horse, sadly doesn’t sound all that original (more like a cross between Angry Birds and Robot Unicorn Attack where you try to crash-land a horse on other horses,) and will also be iOS only.
Still, PopCap have more than enough money to throw at this venture, and the concept of a studio unhampered by the pressure to make games with a wide enough appeal to recoup development costs is a very attractive one.
Meanwhile, the company will keep developing the massively successful series’ it’s known for. Read what Tim had to say about Bejeweled Blitz Live,