Nexon is the sole strategic equity investor in Patrick Söderlund’s new venture, Embark Studios, the company announced Thursday.
In addition to the investment, Nexon will serve as the global publisher for Embark’s new titles.
Söderlund, a former executive of Electronic Arts, hasn’t revealed much about what types of games Embark will, well, be embarking on in the future. But, he is enthusiastic about the new company’s potential.
“I believe games are on the cusp of changing radically, thanks to new technologies,” said Söderlund. “Connected players, big data, speech recognition, cloud computing, advanced AI and more will open up new play, enabling developers to build a wider range of experiences, and for players to create and contribute. Embark is a group of veteran creators eager to move beyond current play experiences into the future.”
Söderlund was also nominated to serve on Nexon’s Board of Directors, which will be ratified at next year’s shareholder meeting.
Embark, a Stockholm-based studio, will develop new types of games and online worlds to explore using streaming, cloud capabilities, and artificial intelligence technologies, according to a press release. The studio will also create its own “technology platform” for the new offerings it has planned, the press release stated.
Owen Mahoney, President and CEO of Nexon, also commented on the investment.
“While the online games business is very large, it is still just getting started,” said Mahoney. “Today we sit at a major inflection point, with highly advanced AI technology, dynamic provisioning of computational power from the cloud, and new user interface options now offered by multiple vendors and at consumer-level price points. What remains scarce is the ability to make deeply engaging online virtual worlds that appeal to a broad global audience that can grow for many years. The formation of Embark represents one of the most exciting developments for the future of online games.”
Mahoney also expressed that Nexon looks forward to inviting Söderlund to its board.
“Online games are the center of the media industry, already bigger than movies,” Mahoney explained. “Our Board and management believe that it’s appropriate to have a game developer on our Board of Directors, especially one as capable and thoughtful as Patrick.”