Focus on a ‘games for everyone’ approach to publishing
4J Studios has today announced a move into publishing, with the first title, Skye Tales by Puny Astronaut, launching in 2023. More titles are set to be announced next year, including future 4J Studios’ games and titles from fellow Scottish developers Ant Workshop and StormCloud.
The publishing of games is the next step in the growth of 4J Studios, which launched its investment fund, Chroma Ventures, in March 2021. Since then, Chroma Ventures has invested significantly in studios identified by 4J Studios’ co-founders Paddy Burns and Chris van der Kuyl as rising stars of the Scottish games industry, who show commitment to 4J’s Studios’ “games for everyone” ethos.
The first game to be published by 4J Studios will be Puny Astronaut’s Skye Tales. The partnership between 4J Studios and Puny Astronaut began in 2018, when 4J Studios made a six-figure investment in the studio. That investment and support provided Puny Astronaut with the time, space, and resources to complete the game in line with their initial vision.
Chris van der Kuyl, Chairman of 4J Studios and Puny Astronaut, said: “Skye Tales is a perfect example of our ‘games for everyone’ approach. We are particularly pleased that Skye Tales will be the first game to be published by 4J Studios, which feels like a natural progression for us, given how consumers now buy games online.
“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. Our ambition is to establish game brands we are close to, and believe in, and help them evolve into successful franchises.”
4J Studios is known for developing Minecraft for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo games consoles. The studio is based at Water’s Edge, Chroma Development’s creative hub in Dundee, and has, to date, focused exclusively on developing games. 4J Studios signalled the start of a new chapter in March this year when it appointed former NBC Universal Executive Producer Brian Gomez to the newly created post of Creative Director and Executive Producer.
Since joining 4J Studios Brian has worked on new, original, next-generation games and technology. He also supports the games development studios in which Chroma Ventures, the investment arm of 4J Studios, has a stake.
4J Studios’ first published title, Skye Tales, focuses on the adventures of Skye, a friendly dragon, and has been designed as an ideal entry point to the world of video games for players of all abilities. Puny Astronaut’s team worked closely with the accessibility charity, AbleGamers, during the game’s development, introducing a range of accessibility features that sets Skye Tales apart from solutions typically found in other games.
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