Mobile gaming startup Scopely has signed on former Zynga general manager Reed Shaffner to lead its product team. Shaffner will oversee games from Scopely’s developer partners as well as its infrastructure.
Based in Los Angeles, Scopely was launched in 2011 to help independent mobile game developers optimize their products for competition against products from larger competitors such as DeNA and GREE. Its latest success, Mini Golf Matchup, Scopely’s first collaboration with New Zealand partner Rocket Jump, reached 10 million downloads in the first month after its launch at the beginning of March.
Shaffner is the second former Zynga GM hired by Scopely. The first was Andy Kleinman, who joined the company as its chief business officer in March. Shaffner and Kleinman are among the crop of Zynga alums who have left the struggling company to work at gaming startups.
As general manager, Shaffner oversaw Zynga’s mobile platform and the Zynga With Friends network. Prior to that, Shaffner, who first joined Zynga as a senior product manager, was director of product for Zynga.com and lead product manager on Cafe World, during which he helped establish the Zynga San Diego studio. Before joining Zynga, Shaffner was the senior product manager for Bing Social Search at Microsoft, and product manager for Microsoft Office.
Shaffner is also associate partner at Ironfire Capital, which invests in early stage mobile, big data and cloud computing startups in China and the U.S.
Scopely CEO Walter Driver, calls Shaffner “one of the fastest rising stars in the gaming world” and says he will work closely with the company’s gaming studio partners.
“We were particularly excited by his understanding of both products from a game optimization standpoint and a platform standpoint,” Driver says. “He will know how to empower developer partners to innovate on an ongoing basis with the tools we are giving them.”
Shaffner says he’s excited to join Scopely after seeing the success its had with its own games, as well as Mini Golf Matchup.
“I think it’s amazing to get to work with not just games but also an entire platform to empower third party developers to make remarkable content, especially in mobile,” he says.