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PopCap Reveals Experimental Game Label 4th & Battery

by Meagan Marie on Apr 05, 2011 at 03:59 AM

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PopCap Games announced a new casual games label today, created as an outlet for experimental game design. Branded 4th & Battery after the crossroad in front of PopCap’s HQ, developers and designers will have the freedom to create smaller, simpler, and “edgier” games with a safety buffer protecting the PopCap name. The label is expected to yield several titles per year on platforms such as the PC, Facebook, and iPhone.

“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.”

The label’s first game is the previously teased Unpleasant Horse, and is aimed at mature audiences. Starring a flying horse with a less-than-sunny disposition, the player is tasked with destroying birds and landing atop friendly equines in order to push them into a meat grinder to earn points. No joke. Check out the teaser trailer below.


“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 release for free on the iPhone and iPod later this month.