PopCap acquires Small Arms developer Gastronaut Studios

Casual gaming king PopCap Games sent out word earlier today that it has acquired indie developer Gastronaut Studios. If that name doesn’t ring any bells, chances are you’ve heard of some of the titles the company has worked on.

Gastronaut put out Small Arms on Xbox LIVE Arcade, and also developed PopCap’s Feeding Frenzy 2 and the XBLA port of Peggle. According the press release (check after the break if you’re dying to see it), Gastronaut’s employees and assets will join PopCap’s internal team for work on various unnamed projects.

The PR also mentions that Small Arms is one of the top-selling games on XBLA, which I’m sure has been said before but I must have not been paying attention at the time. I saw a lot of potential in SA and wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel eventually.

PopCap Games Acquires Gastronaut Studios

Leader in Casual Games Strengthens Internal Console Development Team with Makers of Top-Selling Video Games

SEATTLE, Washington – February 24, 2009 — PopCap Games, Inc., the leading developer and publisher of casual video games, today announced the acquisition of Gastronaut Studios, the premier independent game development studio known for its Xbox and Xbox 360 titles. Gastronaut is the maker of several titles for the Xbox LIVE Arcade service, best known for the award-winning smash hit title Small Arms, one of the top-selling titles on XBLA, and for their work as developers of PopCap’s Feeding Frenzy™ 2 for XBLA and the upcoming adaptation of Peggle™ for XBLA.

Under the terms of the deal, PopCap has acquired the company’s assets and employees, who will join PopCap’s internal development team to begin work on several undisclosed projects. PopCap will also retain exclusive license to Gastronaut’s tools and technologies. The Gastronaut founders will retain exclusive rights to their original properties, including Small Arms as well as their upcoming action puzzle title Gel.

“The Gastronaut Studios acquisition signals PopCap’s continued commitment to internal development of top quality games for a range of platforms,” noted David Roberts, CEO of PopCap. “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. The team at Gastronaut has been a great partner of ours, and we’re delighted to have them join us here at PopCap. ”

“This acquisition is the perfect union as Gastronaut, much like PopCap, is dedicated to making accessible and addictively fun games for a wide range of consumers,” stated Jacob Van Wingen, Gastronaut co-founder. “We’ve enjoyed a fantastic working relationship with PopCap on their XBLA titles and we’re thrilled to be joining their team to create exciting titles that players of all stripes will love.”

About PopCap
PopCap Games (www.popcap.com) is the leading multi-platform provider of “casual games” — fun, easy-to-learn, captivating computer games that appeal to everyone from age 6 to 106. Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of over 200 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Dublin and Shanghai. Its games have been downloaded more than 1 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled®, has sold more than 10 million units across all platforms. Constantly acclaimed by consumers and critics, PopCap’s games are played on the Web, desktop computers, myriad mobile devices (cell phones, smartphones, PDAs, Pocket PCs, iPod and more), popular game consoles (such as Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS), and in-flight entertainment systems. PopCap is the only casual games developer with leading market share across all major sales channels, including Web portals, retail stores, mobile operators and developers, and game device manufacturers.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.