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PopCap Games Snags XBLA Dev Gastronaut

Casual developer-publisher PopCap takes another step toward increasing its presence on consoles with the acquisition of Small Arms developer Gastronaut Studios, who'll join the company's internal team for "several unannounced projects."
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 PopCap’s continued commitment to internal development of top quality games for a range of platforms," says PopCap CEO David Roberts. "Given the success of Gastronaut’s top-selling Small Arms franchise in particular, there’s little doubt that PopCap has significantly increased its development capabilities and creative firepower."

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