Asian online gaming giant Nexon made a strategic investment in Embark Studios, a new game studio founded by former Electronic Arts and DICE executive Patrick Söderlund.
As the only strategic equity investor in Embark, Nexon, maker of games like MapleStory and Dungeon & Fighter, will also act as a worldwide publisher for titles developed by the new company. In addition, Söderlund, CEO of Embark, has been nominated to serve on Nexon's board of directors; The nomination will be ratified at Nexon's Annual General Meeting in March 2019.
"I think games are changing radically thanks to new technology," said Söderlund in a statement. "Connected players, large data, voice recognition, cloud computing, advanced AI and more will open up new games, enabling developers to build a wider range of experiences, and for players to create and contribute. Embark is a group of veterans who are keen to move beyond today's gaming experiences in the future. "
He added: "The partnership between Embark Studios and Nexon is based on a deeply adapted vision of the future of interactive entertainment, and about the challenge of standard conventions and practices on how to create. Nexon's global leadership in maintaining online gaming worlds and communities for many years is crucial to our mission. "
Stockholm-based Embark was founded to develop new types of interactive entertainment and simulated virtual online worlds activated by the major explosions in technology that has already taken place and is on the horizon, streaming streaming, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The company will also build its own technology platform to optimize for the new games and experiences it will offer.
"Although online gaming activity is very big, it's still just running," said Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon, in a statement. "Today we are at a major inflection point, with high-end AI technology, dynamic computational power supply from the cloud, and new user interface options are now offered by multiple vendors and consumer price levels. Still, there is the ability to make deeply engaging online virtual worlds that appeal to a wide global audience that can grow for many years. The Embark formation represents one of the most exciting developments for the future of online games. "
Embark will develop the next generation of online multiplayer worlds that exploit both its leadership team demonstrated experience of creating dear global franchises, and Nexon's ability to become living game worlds for many years, even decades. Both Nexon and Embark believe that the next generation of online games will be deeply expensive simulated realities, with perseverance and profound consequences for players actions.
Söderlund was Managing Director of Stockholm-based DICE, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006. Over the years, Söderlund has had many leading roles, and eventually became Executive Vice President of Worldwide Studios, and last served as the company's chief designer.