More ‘midcore': Nexon signs publishing deal with German startup developer Envision

Above: The Envision team comprises a number of developers that previously worked at EA Phenomic on releases like Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances.

Image Credit: EA Phenomic

Global game publisher Nexon is once again signing a deal with former triple-A developers that have gone indie.

The South Korean company revealed today that it has come to terms with German developer Envision Entertainment. As part of the deal, Nexon will have the rights to publish Envision’s upcoming mobile strategy title. The unnamed game will likely debut in 2015, and the studio isn’t sharing many details — although it does note that it is targeting a “midcore” audience. That means people who enjoy deep mechanics but usually only play on devices they own for other purposes, such as smartphones, and like shorter play sessions than what you find in hardcore games.

Envision comprises a number of developers that previously worked at Phenomic, a studio that produced the SpellForce strategy-role-playing game series. In 2006, publisher Electronic Arts acquired the company. Under that company, EA Phenomic went on to developer Lord of Ultima and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances. In July 2013, EA shuttered the studio.

“The Envision team has a successful track record of developing high-quality strategy games that are easy to play yet provide a very compelling experience that keeps users coming back,” Nexon chief executive officer Owen Mahoney said.

This is one of many recent deals Nexon has solidified to build up a roster of mobile, social, and PC games. In July, former Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski revealed his new studio, Boss Key Productions, will team up with Nexon for his new game. This is in addition to Nexon’s investment in Civilization II mastermind Brian Reynold’s upcoming strategy game.

“As a studio of veterans, we are not in the game to test the water,” Envision co-founder and chief executive Dirk Ringe said. “We want to make a splash with our next project, and Nexon is the perfect match for that. They have excellent personnel, a deep understanding of free-to-play, and broad international reach.”

Nexon is best known for releasing the free-to-play online game Maple Story, but it also oversees massive games like Valve’s multiplayer online arena battler Dota 2 and EA Sports’ FIFA Online 3 in Asian markets like China and South Korea.

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