Two of Rockstar's co-founders have formed a new studio called 4mm Games that will develop and release new games online before launching them on consoles.
Headed by President Jamie King and Chief Technology Officer Gary Foreman, who co-founded Rockstar in 1998 with Terry Donovan and Sam and Dan Houser, the studio plans to develop new properties and then launch them online and through mobile platforms like the iPhone before turning them loose on consoles. The system will give 4mm a kind of "test market" for for new titles and is also "a way to combat the growing effect of digital" on the videogame business.
"It is an utterly unprecedented time in the history of videogames, as the Web and new business models disrupt the existing value chain," said 4mm CEO Nicholas Perrett, who described the studio as "a new type of business" catering to "consumer[s] who live online."
Former NBC and Warner Music executive Paul Coyne, who joined the company as executive vice president, said the studio will produce games for more casual gamers like women, who he described as a "super-underservered market."
"There are lots of people who don't want to play men-in-tights games," he said. "There's a huge audience already online who want to play games relevant to them."
4mm is currently at work on two unspecified games, one of which is expected to come out within a year.