Tokyo-based Nexon thinks it can do free-to-play gaming smarter than the competition, and has signed publishing deals with a slew of startups to broaden its reach.

Now it’s adding some star power to that roster.

Nexon said today it will publish the first game from Boss Key Productions, a free-to-play shooter videogame called BlueStreak. Boss Key’s CEO is Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski, a longtime designer for Epic Games who walked away from games two years ago, leaving behind a legacy of well-liked franchises like Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament and Gears of War.

Some other known names being published by Nexon include EA and Zynga veteran John Schappert’s Shiver Entertainment; former EA Partners exec and BioWare CEO Greg Richardson’s Rumble Entertainment; and former Zynga game designer Brian Reynolds’s SecretNewCo. None of them have the same name recognition as Bleszinski, however, so the deal may be even more of a bonus for Nexon — which is trying to crack into the Western gaming market — than it is for Boss Key.

Bleszinski recently announced to his 234,000 Twitter followers that he will be joined at Boss Key by Guerrilla Games founder Arjan Brussee, who also worked heavily on Jazz Jackrabbit. However, he has repeatedly told those followers that Epic retains the rights to their previous collaboration.



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