Checkpoint to receive funding from Japan publisher Marvelous AQL

EA and Sony vets form free-to-play studio

Former EA, Sony and Shiny Entertainment developers have founded a new free-to-play social games studio.

Called Checkpoint Studios, the new California-based company will focus on “high-production”, cross-platform games for mobile and browser.

Former Heavy Iron and Shiny Entertainment senior producer Brian Wiklem will head up operations at the new development outfit, with its first game, AviNation, slated to be released on Facebook in June.

Japan publisher Marvelous AQL, which has developed titles such as Rune Factory 4 and Soul Sacrifice, has pledged funding toward the studio.

“When I first started playing social games, I was frustrated by what I felt was a lack of quality and real game play in so many of the titles,” said Wiklem.

“The click-reward-repeat nature felt more like an activity or social chore than a game and, while there’s clearly an audience for that, I know we can do better.”

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