Via Gamasutra, it appears PopCap is starting a smaller, more experimentally focused label called 4th & Battery, named for the streets it's on in Seattle. The goal? To give their designers a chance to make games that might not necessarily find their way through the usual channels at PopCap.
As Ed Allard, whom Gamasutra mentions is executive vice president, mentions, there are a lot of ideas floating around the company. Therefore, this is a way to allow people to work on those ideas without the same pressures they might have to make us fall in love with the next Bejeweled or catch on as Plants vs. Zombies. Or, as PopCap's cofounder, Jason Kapalka notes:
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. Expect weirdness.
As someone who is a fan of what artists can do in shorter works, or experiment with in B-sides, I must say I am intrigued. Especially as their first project is Unpleasant Horse, which will be coming to the App store, at the enticing cost of "free." Apparently you will take control of a mean, flying horse who knocks other nicer horses into a grinder.
That right there? Perhaps a bit more mature in rating than the average PopCap title. They have mentioned that some of the titles they release will be of that bent. The platforms for the future will also include the PC and Facebook.
So, I suppose I now having a flying horse to go with my unicorns. It's raining ponies!
Now to imagine what other studios I wish would follow this example. Meanwhile, while it's rather bare at the moment, their website is right here, while the teaser video is below.