Scopely, Inc. is a company that specializes in the development and publication of interactive mobile games. It is based in Los Angeles, California and the business has achieved a remarkable degree of success. It hasn't even been in operation for a full decade but the venture has already reached unicorn status. Here are 20 things you didn't know about Scopely that you probably didn't know.
1. Scopely, Inc was founded in 2011
The company is going into its ninth year of operation, developing and publishing interactive mobile games. The founders are Walter Driver, Eric Futoran, Eytan Elbaz, and Ankur Bulsara. Elbaz is the co-founder of Applied Semantics which is now under the umbrella of Google. Bulsara is a former employee at MySpace where he served as a software developer prior to joining the other three co-founders to establish Scopely.
2. Scopely has received public recognition for its success
Scopely was named to a prestigious list of the fastest-growing companies in America in August of 2015. The company was just four years old at the time and still in its infancy stage of development. Scopely was listed as number nine in rank in a group of 5,000 American companies on the list of the fastest-growing in America, which encompasses North American countries. It was number one in the United States.
3. Scopely launched free games in 2012
Many of us enjoy playing free games on mobile apps when we're waiting in long lines or have nothing else to do. It's a great way to pass the time. Scopely is responsible for making many of these free to play mobile games available. In 2012, they launched the first of these free games titled "Dice with Buddies," and next they released "Jewels with Buddies," followed by "Bubble Galaxy with Buddies." The latter made its debut as the number one free app in the store.
4. Scopely is an international company
Scopely started out its operations in Los Angeles, California, but quickly spread to other countries throughout the world. It joined forces with Rocket Jump, a New Zealand based studio in April of 2013 to launch "Mini Golf MatchUp." The app was available in 49 countries. They've also partnered with Digit Games Studios in Ireland, which led to Scopely's acquisition of teh fantast strategy MMO game "Kings of the Realm." In October of 2017, Scopely opened a study in Barcelona, Spain.
5. Scopely, Inc is still making acquisitions
Scopely, Inc is expanding and growing through the acquisition of other companies. The most recent acquisition was made in January of 2020. Scopely purchased Cold Iron Studios from Disney. They also purchased FoxNext Games, Los Angeles. The amount of the acquisition has not yet been disclosed. From all appearances, the company is on the move and making even further expansion as we enter into the new year.
6. The business had a major malfunction
Although Scopely has largely been a huge success with high-performing game releases, they've also had their share of headaches and game glitches. The company launched "The Walking Dead: Road to Survival" in 2017. By 2018 the game had been downloaded by 40 million users. Shortly after the launch, it was discovered that there were some glitches that were the result of programming errors. This caused issues with player usage. It was an event that resulted in the game developers issuing an apology and Scopely offering virtual items to compensate users who were affected by the glitches.Not all users were satisfied with the free virtual items and some even complained that they were of little real value.
7. Scopely has had nine funding rounds
This company has had excellent financial support from investors that believe in the tremendous potential for success. Within the nine rounds of funding, Scopely has raised a total of $478.7 million in venture capital for expansion and operations. Funding rounds began in April of 2011 with a Convertible Note of an undisclosed amount. A seed round ensued in September of 2012, followed by a round of Series A funding in July of 2013 led by Anthem Venture Partners. The round raised $8.5 million. A convertible note of $200K followed in March of 2014, and later that year another round of Series A funding brought in $35 million. A series B round brought in $55 million in July of 2016, followed by 2 rounds of Series C funding in 2017 and 2018, bringing in another $160 million. The final funding round was a Series D round led by NewView Capital which raised $200 million.
8. Millions of apps are downloaded monthly
Scopely is currently experiencing a high level of success. There are millions of apps being downloaded and installed by users every month. The phenomenal average number of monthly downloads is 4,121,114. The most popular of the apps downloaded include "Looney Tunes World of Mayhem Action RPG," "Wheel of Fortune Free Play," and "Yahtzee with Buddies Dice Game.
9. Scopely has a growing presence in the United Kingdom
When checking the news on Scopely's LinkedIn site, we learned that the company is on the move to London England. It recently received an award in the UK for being the Best Publisher at the Mobile Games Awards. This was an impressive form of recognition for the company that is less than a decade in its development.
10. Scopely is currently expanding its workforce
It's a good sign when a company is in need of more talented employees to join their current workforce. Scopely employs 474 workers at its four studio locations. You can find them on LinkedIn for more information on who works for Scopely, and what kind of experience each has. it's impressive for many. There are currently 41 job openings within the company that shows it is in yet another phase of growth and expansion.
11. Scopely surpassed unicorn status
When a company reaches the $1 billion mark in its valuation it is recognized as a unicorn company. Scopely has gone beyond that figure. In October of 2019, the total valuation of Scopely, Inc. was set at an amazing 1.7 billion dollars. While this is an impressive figure, the chances of Scopely moving far past this amount if it stays on its current trajectory.
12. Scopely if now profitable
It can take years or a company to settle its debts and finally become profitable, and Scopely, Inc. has reached that point in its development. The annual revenue has been reported at more than $400 million. The lifetime revenue is over a billion for the game developer and publisher.
13. Scopely keeps adding new games
When mobile players finish a game, they're looking for something new and exciting to start. Scopely has been doing its part to make sure that there is a great variety of free and premium mobile app games. They added their most popular app "Looney Tunes World of Mayhem" in a special arrangement with Warner Bros in 2018. This was followed by "Star Trek Fleet Command," "WWE Champions 2019," "The Walking Dead: Road To Survival," and a few others.
14. The marketing strategy is inclusive
Scopely's apps can be downloaded for free with the basic versions fo the games. Advertisements bring in revenue for the company whenever you watch an ad or better yet, click on an ad, and this helps to keep the games free for users who aren't interested in upgrading to premium. Then there are those who love a game and don't mind paying the premium price to unlock all of the potentials of the game. There is still advertising in the premium games, however.
15. Scopely has enticed some big names in entertainment
There has been no problem with Scopely when it comes to raising funds. Investors realize that the company is a virtual goldmine in the making. The potential for a high return on investment is a drawing card. Investors include Jimmy Iovine, the co-founder of Beats, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peter Chernin of the Chernin Group, Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Gruber, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos, former Disney COO Tom Staggs, and many more. These are all successful professionals in the entertainment business and each has years of experience and they know a good opportunity when they see one.
16. Scopely has a top-notch team of executives
The three main executives of Scopely are professionals in the business who bring a great deal of experience and skill to their jobs. Under their leadership, Scopely, Inc. has become a unicorn status company. This gives investors a lot of confidence that their investments will yield a high return on investment. Walter Driver is a co-CEO and a founder of the company. He is joined in this responsibility by Javier Ferreira, who is the President and Chief Operating Officer. Tim O'Brien is the Chief Revenue Officer.
17. Scopely has been hit with a lawsuit
Scopely is the subject of a class-action lawsuit that has been filed against the mobile gaming developer and publisher. The plaintiff is Vernon Ackies who claims that after purchasing virtual goods from the company for a Star Trek Fleet Command video game, he learned that the publisher had decreased the effectiveness of the goods and the value after they were purchased. This falls under the category of fraud and false advertising. Since this is a multiplayer game, others have also been affected. Further claims indicate that players could not advance in the game without making the purchase of virtual goods to enhance their playing abilities. Further allegations suggest that after the purchase there were more subtractions from in-game currencies made from the players' balance that were not disclosed prior to the purchase. The benefits that players paid for were not received. Scopely responded to the allegations offering to "fix" parts of the software that were causing these problems.
18. Scopely is a privately held company
Investors who frequently look for shares in companies like Scopely are out of luck for now. Scopely Inc is a privately held company that relies upon its steady stream of big money investors for funding. There is no reason for the leadership to take the company public. There has been no talk of filing for an IPO at this time. Most companies who go public do so for the purpose of fundraising, but Scopely doesn't have an immediate need to do so at this time. Perhaps at some point in the future they might consider this option, but don't expect it to happen any time soon.
19. An executive of Scopely shared the dangers of Loot Boxes
One of the biggest controversies that Scopely has encountered is with the Loot Boxes that fail to yield the benefits promised. Spencer Tucker is a senior president of the company and he shared that it's a kind of balancing act when determining what will be included in loot or a mystery box. One of the goals of Scopely is to get people to invest more in the mystery boxes over a period of time, so in essence, they're trying to persuade people to buy more loot boxes which may or may not yield helpful materials. His description leads us to believe that buying a loot box is a lot like taking a gamble on anything of real value being included in the purchase.
20. Scopely is going to be around for a while
There have been a few rumors circulating around Scopley in recent forums. Some former users suggest that the recent lawsuit will be powerful enough to shut them down. This really isn't the case. Scopely is a highly valuated company that can withstand a lawsuit or two without folding up and leaving town. They're going to be around for quite a while.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee