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Former Zynga man Schappert founds fresh free-to-play studio

Former Zynga man Schappert founds fresh free-to-play studio
Little over a year after he left troubled social gaming giant Zynga, former COO John Schappert has pulled the covers off his new studio – a mobile and PC-based free-to-play outfit called Shiver Entertainment.

What's more, the studio has already signed its first deal, forming a "strategic partnership" with Korean free-to-play publisher Nexon.

The deal means that, in exchange for an investment and corresponding equity stake in the company, Nexon will have the rights to publish the studio's releases across the globe.

It's a deal Nexon's CFO and CAO Owen Mahoney – who will also join Shiver's board as a result of the partnership – believes reflects the talent and vision held by studio founder Schappert.

Peas in a pod

"John is one of the world's most respected developers and has been responsible for building some of the industry's most fun and financially successful franchises," said Mahoney.

"This announcement represents another significant milestone in our strategy to build our business in key Western markets by working with world-class developers and bringing our unmatched free-to-play online expertise to global markets.

"We look forward to leveraging the strengths of both companies to develop new, successful franchises loved by players around the world."

Shiver CEO Schappert actually founded the developer back in December, just four months after leaving Zynga. Little is known about what titles the outfit is working on, though Schappert claims the Nexon deal will boost the fortunes of whatever games Shiver comes out with.

"Nexon has an extraordinary track record of successfully partnering with a select few of the best game developers in the world, and we are proud to partner with them," said Schappert.

"Shiver Entertainment is focused on creating the world's best free-to-play games and by working together, we combine Nexon's expertise in online free-to-play games and global publishing capability with our AAA Western-oriented games.

"It's a perfect match and we are very excited about our bright future together."

The studio is currently on the look out for new talent, claiming on its website that it's "on a mission to make the world's best free-to-play games and build a great company while we're at it."

More details can be found on Shiver's website.

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

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