Scopely - Games for the Long Haul
Gaming has become a sensation in the 21st century, evolving from pixel graphics to experiences never thought possible, engaging stories that will leave people awestruck and cherishable moments that will be remembered for years to come.
With the rise of technology and smartphones, gamers can now game on the go. What was once thought impossible and what was present in futuristic movies in the 90s has now become a reality. A handheld device that fits inside your pocket has the processing and graphics power of all computers in the 90s combined.
Scopely is an interactive entertainment and video game company founded in 2011 by Ankur Bulsara, Eric Futoran, Eytan Elbaz, and Walter Driver. It’s situated in California, US; it also has offices in Europe and Asia; the company's primary focus is creating and publishing free-to-play mobile games that are fun, immersive, and engaging experiences that will stick with players all around the world.
Backstory and Founders of Scopely, Inc.
Scopely founders Ankur Bulsara, Eric Futoran, Eytan Elbaz, and Walter Driver started the company in 2011.
Eric Futoran is one of the co-founders of Scopely and the Co-Founder of Embrace. He has studied at Duke University and New York University and has computer science and engineering degrees.
Ankur, prior to Scopely, served as Chief Technology Officer of O Negative Media, where he designed and orchestrated the growth of multi-million and successful social gaming apps. Before that, Ankur was the founder of Brainwave Software Inc., a consulting business focusing on systems design and scalability that advised such clients as MySpace, uSamp, MindJolt (SGN), and Internships.com.
Walter Driver, who graduated from Brown University and holds a B.A. in English Literature, is also one of the co-founders and co-CEOs of Scopely. He is an investor and holds the title of advisor to other tech companies. He is also recognized as one of the "100 Most Influential Executives" by The Business Journal.
The last piece of the founder's puzzle is Eytan Elbaz, who also co-founded Applied Semantics, which Google acquired in 2003. The 4 founders wanted to create entertainment for the long haul, games that went beyond short-term mobile entertainment. Thus they created Scopely to publish diverse, creative games that would allow players to immerse themselves completely.
Walter Driver was named the company's Chief Executive Officer, Eytan Elbaz was the Chief Strategy Officer, and Ankur Bulsara the Chief Technology Officer. In the following years, Scopely's revenue reached an all-time peak, reaching up to 32 million dollars in revenue; it has also received funding for up to 35 million dollars.
Scopely’s Achievements and Rankings
In August 2015, Scopely was ranked #9 on Inc.’s list of 5000 fastest-growing companies in America and #1 in the US. In May 2019, Scopely purchased a studio based in Dublin called Digit Game Studios, which was an external studio that helped develop the mobile strategy game Star Trek Fleet Command.
In January 2020, Scopely acquired FoxNext Games Los Angeles and Cold Iron Studios from Disney. Scopely later, in a sharings call, announced that it’s selling Cold Iron Studios to Daybreak Game Company.
In 2020 Scopely acquired PierPlay. In October 2021, Game Show Network, an online gaming division owned by Sony Pictures at the time, was also acquired by the company.
Scopely’s Teamwork and Work Culture
Scopely, as of 2022, has around 2000 employees from all parts of the world, it features a diverse workspace, and it’s all-inclusive. It reviews all applicants equally, and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of sex, race, gender, or nationality. It’s very open about its work culture; overall, employees are satisfied with the workplace and leadership. The company offers paid flights and transport fees during the interview phase, which is very positively received by applicants looking to join the company.
Award Winning Franchises
It’s home to many top-grossing, award-winning franchises such as The Walking Dead - Road to Survival, Star Trek Fleet Command, MARVEL Strike Force and many more. They also dabble in the tech behind the games, creating games from the ground up, welcoming casual and hardcore gamers alike; they also built their own publishing platform on which they have achieved success. Scopely has released nine games in the market, out of which the games have reached the top of the chart four consecutive times in US App Store downloads. Their secret to how they reached such success? It’s in the IPs themselves.
Scopely’s first title that garnered attention was a free-to-play mobile dice game called Dice with Buddies, followed later by Jewels with Buddies and Bubble Galaxy with Buddies, which earned the spot of #1 free app on the App Store.
In April 2013, Scopely launched Mini Golf Matchup; it earned the spot of #1 free app in the App store in over 40 countries and the #1 app on the iPhone and Ipad in the US.
The Walking Dead Road to Survival is based on the hit series The Walking Dead was launched in August 2015, and it gained immediate attention worldwide. It didn’t take long for it to become the highest-grossing app on the Play Store, earning the place as the number 1 download app on the App store. It was their first hit, and it cemented their strategy, to make games based on external licenses. A fully fleshed Walking Dead game hasn’t been released in the mobile market before, and it was their first ticket to becoming the popular conglomerate they are now.
In 2018 Scopely released Star Trek Fleet Command, which was a hit and earned positive reviews and was received well by fans of Star Trek and casual gamers alike; it was mainly due to their well-made consumer model, which earned the heart of gamers and hardcore fans of Star Trek. It’s also a strategy game, making it even more interesting because it was the first mobile strategy game based on the Star Trek IP. In 2019 the app surpassed $50 million in revenue.
Scopely’s Funding and Valuation
In 2013, Scopely managed to raise a seed round of $8.5 million, which Anthem Venture Partners led. In 2014, Scopely raised $35 million in Series A funding, then $55 million in Series B funding in 2016, and in 2017, it raised $60 million in Series C funding.
In October 2021, Scopely was valued at over $4 billion, making it one of the biggest companies in the mobile market in the United States.
The Next Stage for Scopely
Scopely is diverse and multinational, with employees worldwide with offices in Barcelona, London, Tokyo, Seoul, and many more major cities.
Scopely is staying on the primary focus, making innovative and fun games for everyone. The company actively supports its products with content updates and events that keep the player base of the games busy and alive, using the “games as a service” model to release downloadable content updates for players for free.
As for future installments, the most recent game being Kingdom Maker, Scopely is worth keeping an eye on. Their games never fail to captivate their fans and newcomers alike. The company also has an active social media presence; huge charity events are announced as well as keeping in touch with its community.