Cliff Bleszinski launches Boss Key Productions

Game designer Cliff Bleszinski, whose work on Epic’s “Unreal” and “Gears of War” franchises made him a household name in the videogame biz, has launched Boss Key Productions and announced “BlueStreak” as the code name for the studio’s first title.

Nexon America 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.

Few details have been released about “BlueStreak,” but the game will be developed as a free-to-play first-person shooter, generating much of its revenue from microtransactions.

Boss Key is based in Raleigh, N.C.

“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 CEO of 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.”

Nexon is major player in the free-to-play online games space, with titles like “MapleStory,” “Vindictus” and the online shooter “Dirty Bomb,” coming out later this year.

During Bleszinski’s 20-year run at Epic, “Unreal Tournament” and the “Gears of War” franchises grossed over $1 billion in sales. Bleszinski, who is better known by his nickname “CliffyB,” left Epic in 2012.

“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,” Bleszinski said. “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.”

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