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Scottish developer 4J Studios pivots into publishing to build "games for everyone"

4J Studios is best known for developing Minecraft titles for console platforms.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

October 25, 2022

2 Min Read
The Puny Astronaut logo flanked by key members of the 4J team

Scottish developer 4J Studios, best known for developing Minecraft titles for console platforms including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, is branching into publishing.

The Dundee-based studio will make its publishing debut with Nintendo Switch project Skye Tales in 2023. The title is being developed by Puny Astronaut, which last year received a six-figure investment from 4J.

4J said it will take a "games for everyone" approach to publishing and will be announcing more titles next year, including projects from Scottish developers Ant Workshop and Stormcloud.

The studio's move into publishing comes less than two years after it opened Chroma Ventures, an investment fund that was formed to support other developers with "significant" cash injections.

"We have more new games scheduled for release in 2023 – a mixture of original games from 4J Studios and titles from studios we are invested in through Chroma Ventures," said 4J and Puny Astronaut chairman Chris van der Kuyl. "Our ambition is to establish game brands we are close to, and believe in, and help them evolve into successful franchises."

Elaborating on those publishing ambitious during a chat with Game Developer, van der Kuyl said 4J wants to avoid instilling a "one size fits all" mindset and will instead work with its partners to tailor strategies to their specific needs.

"We believe that quality does not necessarily come from larger scale or shorter timescales . To that end we are taking our time to work with all our games teams to develop games and strategies that fit their unique capabilities. This means trying to align everyone with the best fit for their particular needs," said van der Kuyl.

The 4J chairman added the studio wants to publish games that are, above all else, fun to play. It will also seek to develop franchises by supporting them in the long-term with DLC and expansions.

"Overall, for a game to come from the 4J stable, we want it to offer players a truly enjoyable piece of entertainment from the first play," he continued. "Whilst we want our games to have beautiful art and engaging music as well as being built on great technology we believe a game is first and foremost a compelling interactive experience."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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