Zynga's former chief designer working on a strategic mobile game, enters partnership with Nexon

SecretNewCo, the game development studio founded by Zynga's former chief game designer Brian Reynolds, is developing a new mobile strategic social network game, the company announced today, which also revealed a partnership Korean free-to-play online game company, Nexon.

Nexon will make investment in SecretNewCo in exchange for a minority stake in the company and publishing rights for SecretNewCo's new game. SecretNewCo's flagship game, tentatively titled SecretNewGame, tasks players with guiding a tribe through the stages of human history, beginning with the Stone Age. The game allows players to defend against attacks from enemies, trade with friends and launch raids. SecretNewGame is slated to launch worldwide in 2014.

"Nexon pioneered the free-to-play model over 15 years ago," Reynolds said in the announcement. "This partnership lets SecretNewCo tap into Nexon's proven free-to-play expertise and resources as we continue to grow our team and scale the reach of our new game."

"This agreement represents a significant milestone for Nexon as we execute against our strategy to grow our business in key markets in the West," Nexon's CFO and CAO, Owen Mahoney said in statement. "We are excited to partner with such a well-respected industry veteran as Brian and the talented SecretNewCo team to bring SecretNewGame to players around the world."

In late January, Polygon learned from Zynga that Reynolds was leaving the company. The former CEO and creative director at Big Huge Games joined Zynga in 2009 after Big Huge was acquired by 38 Studios. Reynolds, who co-founded Firaxis alongside Sid Meier, revealed in February that he had left Zynga to focus on smaller games and went on to found SecretNewCo in March.

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