Nexon Takes A Strategic Stake In Former Zynga, EA COO's New Gaming Startup

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Nexon, the openly traded free-to-play games giant out of Asia, is continuing its streak of strategic financial investments in appealing Western studios by taking a stake in previous Zynga COO John Schappert’s new start-up Shiver Entertainment, Inc.

They did not disclose the size of the offer, which will see Nexon take an equity stake in the company in exchange for exclusive global publishing rights to Shiver’s approaching games. Nexon’s CFO Owen Mahoney will likewise get a role on Shiver’s board of directors.

Schappert most just recently acted as Zynga’s COO after holding the same function at rival Electronic Arts. Shiver won’t be Schappert’s first start-up, as he started Tiburon Home entertainment back in 1994. That business, which spawned the greatly effective Madden NFL franchise business, was purchased by EA in 1998.

Schappert stated he understood the day he left Zynga that he wanted to discovered an additional start-up instead of signing up with an existing gaming company at a senior level.

‘I’ve actually been extremely lucky to deal with the biggest franchise business in the industry. What gets me the most ecstatic is developing immersive games and working with some of the best developers in the sector,’ he stated.

He has not disclosed who’s on his group, however says that information looms very soon. He started the company about nine months back and prompted that we may see some titles out of the business quickly.

He would not provide too many specifics on exactly what categories the business will concentrate on, other than to say, ‘We are going to concentrate on more considerable, more immersive games – the high fidelity games that people play $50 to 60 for – except in a free-to-play format.’

This is not the first company from a Zynga alum that Nexon’s done a deal with either. The Tokyo-headquartered company just recently did an additional similar strategic financial investment in a start-up from Brian Reynolds, Zynga’s former chief game designer.

These offers belong to an effort to help Nexon reach even more Western audiences. While Nexon produced nearly $450 million in incomes in the first three months of this year, European and North American markets contributed less than 5 percent of the company’s profits throughout that time. In contrast, China makes up nearly half of Nexon’s revenue base.

So Nexon is aiming to reach North American and European audiences as the Android and iOS platforms deteriorate the divide between Oriental and Western gamers.