Los Angeles Business Journal

Scopely Takes First Step Toward Network Status

By Tom Dotan Friday, March 1, 2013

Scopely’s full plans to become a brand name in mobile gaming have finally come into focus.

The Hollywood company announced yesterday it was going to work with five studios – Double Fine, Big Cave Games, High Line Games, Rocket Jump Games and Zupcat Games – as part of a new network of mobile games.

Scopely has had early success in developing titles in-house. It has tallied three games that mad the Top 5 most downloaded for Apple Inc.’s iOS, including Bubble Galaxy with Buddies, which was a runaway hit within days of release.

But the longer play for Walter Driver, Scopely’s co-founder and chief executive, is to turn the company into a Zynga-like network of games. The mobile gaming environment is harsh and there are thousands of developers churning out apps into the iOS and Android stores. Scopely’s goal is to find success by stringing together a number of high quality studios with a sum greater than the parts.

“There’s a fundamental shift in the marketplace where people are going to get interested in partner relationships and partner distribution,” Driver said. “We’re excited to be on the vanguard of that trend.”

Scopely’s role in the partnership is both as publisher and distributor. The company will chip in some money and assist in the creative development of the games, then launch them as co-branded efforts. As an already established studio, Scopely is using its Rolodex of advertisers and marketing connections to help with monetization.

From a technical perspective, Scopely offers its already built multiplayer interface as well as its platform for in-app purchases. Most of the mobile games Scopely is co-developing are free, so these revenue streams are vital.

“We’re not taking finished products and putting it through marketing channels,” Driver said. “We’re interested in getting products right.”

Scopely, it cannot go mentioned, was the firm that once lured potential employees with the promise of bacon-wrapped bundles of cash. But that was two years ago, and now the firm with $8.5 million in funding to date want to show their name has weight in the mobile gaming world. Scopely, you could say, is out to prove its bacon also has some sizzle.