With mid- and senior-level managers trickling out of Zynga over the past year, other startups — both inside and outside of the gaming world — have become beneficiaries.
Scopely, a Los Angeles-based startup that’s trying to build a mobile gaming platform and publishing network, just took on Andy Kleinman, a former Zynga general manager, Playdom and Disney veteran, to be its chief business officer. He’ll lead business and corporate development and pursue partnerships with third-party developers and brands.
Scopely recently launched a publishing program where outside developers can produce games alongside the company and use their distribution network. It faces an incredibly crowded field of well-capitalized competitors like DeNA and GREE along with several larger, mid-sized game developers that have started to get into publishing like Pocket Gems. CEO Walter Driver says that the company has 5 million monthly active users and it’s profitable with just over 40 employees.
Kleinman co-founded Vostu, a Latin American social gaming company, and later joined Three Melons, a studio that was acquired by Playdom (which was later acquired by Disney). He’s an active adviser and investor in several Latin American and Los Angeles-based startups like Radical Studios, Urbita, Ideame, Tactivos, Fanwards and others.
“At first after Zynga, I had wanted to take a break from gaming,” he said. “But I became an adviser to the company over the past six months and the more I got to know Walter and the team better, I started to be excited about the company. I started thinking that I wanted to get back into a startup environment after working for big companies for several years.”