Activision vets come together to launch browser-based digital studio U4iA Games

Freemium FPS on the agenda

Activision vets come together to launch browser-based digital studio U4iA Games
Any studio that announces it's working on an "online-only, hardcore freemium, first-person social game" for its first release could be accused of trying to tick too many boxes with just one release.

Startup U4iA Games, however, will be hoping its collective wealth of experience – with founders and former Activision men Dusty Welch and Chris Archer boasting a combined total of 34 years in the industry - will help it deliver.

Eye on U4iAIndeed, Welch and Archer have worked on some of the publisher's biggest franchises over the years, including Call of Duty, Doom, Guitar Hero, Spider-Man and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater.

"U4iA Games is grounded in the insight that core gamers desire robust, social gaming options on social networks and mobile devices," said Welch, who is to serve as the studio's CEO.

"Playtime and dollars are starting to migrate from console to casual and/or mobile gaming and a new segment is emerging – the hardcore social gamer."

Social sweet spot

The studio, which will focus on browser-based games, is currently seeking a series B round of investment after closing a $1.5 million strong angel round.

"We founded U4iA Games to satiate our passion for creating new IP and game experiences while honing in on the industry's sweet spot," added new CCO Chris Archer

"Many studios are making casual games for a core audience. We're making core games for a social audience."

U4iA's first game should launch in 2012.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.