Gears of War's Bleszinski teaming with Nexon America for arena shooter

It looks as if Cliff Bleszinski is getting exactly what he wanted, as the former Epic Games design director is partnering with Nexon America to create a PC arena shooter. Just one week after Bleszinski announced his return to game development following a 21-month absence, the designer now has a studio by the name of Boss Key Productions and a new game to go along with it, codenamed BlueStreak.

No, the game won't star Martin Lawrence (as far as we know). Rather, BlueStreak is a free-to-play, sci-fi FPS that will offer a "new take on an old favorite," according to Bleszinski. It's the latest in a string of strategic publishing partnerships by Nexon America, who recently agreed to publish an as-yet-unannounced game from Sleeping Dogs developer United Front Games and will also distribute Splash Damage's Dirty Bomb.
[Image: Boss Key Productions]
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Nexon Announces Partnership with Legendary Designer Cliff Bleszinski

Boss Key Productions Founded to Bring Next-Generation FPS Title to the Free-to-Play Market

LOS ANGELES and RALEIGH, N.C. – July 8, 2014 – NEXON Co., Ltd. ("Nexon") (3659.TO), a worldwide leader in free-to-play online games, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Nexon America Inc. ("Nexon America") has entered into a strategic partnership with Cliff Bleszinski, the videogame designer affectionately called "CliffyB" and "Dude Huge" by legions of fans. Earlier, Bleszinski also announced the news of his long-awaited development studio, Boss Key Productions, and its first game, a free-to-play first-person shooter (FPS) code-named BlueStreak, via Twitter (@TheRealCliffyB). As a part of the partnership, Nexon has acquired a minority stake in Boss Key and the exclusive worldwide publishing and marketing rights to BlueStreak, which will be managed through Nexon America. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


"Cliff is one of the most innovative and renowned game designers of our time, and his reputation for creating genre-defining games that inspire a dedicated fan base is well-earned," said Owen Mahoney, president and chief executive officer, Nexon. "Players across the world have eagerly awaited Cliff's next move, and we're delighted to partner with Boss Key to bring the next generation of first-person shooters to market. Cliff shares our unwavering commitment to delivering players the absolute highest-quality game-play experience."

Bleszinski, best known for his work on shooter titles such as Unreal Tournament and the Gears of War franchise, which grossed over $1 billion in sales, has been eager to return to his roots and create a "proper" first-person shooter since departing Epic Games in 2012. Founding Boss Key and assembling a world-class team are the first steps towards realizing that goal.

"Creating fun and memorable shooters is in my DNA, and making the move to free-to-play games is all about maximizing the potential audience for your title while embracing where the industry is headed," said Bleszinski, founder and chief executive officer, Boss Key. "No one knows the free-to-play market better than Nexon, which is why they were the obvious partner to publish BlueStreak. It's a game and concept I think will really resonate with players who have been clamoring for a new take on an old favorite. After all, I've had a year and a half to plan it."

Boss Key is currently accepting resumes via recruiting@bosskey.com for those interested in applying to work on the game.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.