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Flagship Co-Founder Shenk Formally Announces Gravity Bear, Social Gaming Focus
Flagship Co-Founder Shenk Formally Announces Gravity Bear, Social Gaming Focus
October 27, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

October 27, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

Former Flagship Studios co-founder and art director Phil Shenk has officially unveiled Gravity Bear, his new independent studio focused on social games.

The studio is currently at work on an original IP, it says, highlighting core studio processes focused on rapid iteration and adaptibility. It promises "evergreen" social gaming experiences that evolve as players interact.

When Shenk first revealed Gravity Bear late last year, he said Kevin Klemmick, former senior software engineer for Flagship MMO Hellgate: London, would be the studio's technical director.

Prior to co-founding Flagship in 2003 with several other Blizzard Entertainment employees, Shenk worked at Blizzard North on several titles, serving as lead character artist on Diablo II and as art director on that game's expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.

Previous to that, he worked at developers such as Maxis South, Wild Tangent, GlassEye Entertainment, and Origin Systems.

"Gravity Bear was formed with the singular aim of creating games that reconnect people to the core of gaming," said Shenk. "Our commitment is to bring the caliber of social gaming experiences players want -- as they want them which means delivering new kinds of excitement and fun that blend the latest in modern game design with fresh technology."

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Kevin Wei
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Somebody please tell me what social gaming is about.

I hear it so much that I think it's become a buzz word.

John Petersen
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It's pretty much whatever they want it to be Kevin Wei... But for right now, it's gaming that's more focused on how the players interact with one another like they do in real life. Like Building homes and dance clubs, and earning So-called "respect" amongst your peers for having the coolest clothes, biggest farm and what not.

Right now social gaming has less to do with gaming and more to do with meeting new friends.

I've played a couple of the larger games and some of the smaller ones and they can be cool to a certain degree, but one or two bad apples can really ruin the experience. The game experience has alot to do with social interaction and less to do with any kind of gaming skills, story lines, action or adventure.

As with most games, there's to much focus on group interaction (for me). Others who need people around them, and in their ear all the time will love it.

Tawna Evans
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I believe that "social games" are games that operate on social network sites, such as Facebook, Myspace, etc.