Casual developer-publisher PopCap has been eyeing console downloadable platforms
in a big way, and makes another move in that direction today as it announces the acquisition of Xbox Live Arcade developer Gastronaut Studios.
PopCap picks up Gastronaut's teams and assets, plus exclusive license to its tools and tech -- but the independent developer keeps the rights to all of its original properties.
This includes Small Arms
, the multiplayer 2D action fighting title for which the company is best known, along with its in-progress action-puzzler Gel
Gastronaut's set to begin working on "several unannounced projects" for PopCap right away, as its staff joins the company's internal development team through the new deal.
The small Seattle-based XBLA developer has worked with PopCap in the past, developing its title Feeding Frenzy 2
for Microsoft's service, and working on the upcoming Peggle
port for Xbox Live Arcade.
"The Gastronaut Studios acquisition signals PopCapís continued commitment to internal development of top quality games for a range of platforms," says PopCap CEO David Roberts. "Given the success of Gastronautís top-selling Small Arms
franchise in particular, thereís little doubt that PopCap has significantly increased its development capabilities and creative firepower."