While Zynga has fallen off a cliff, with a revolving door of executives, and mobile game maker King was acquired by Activision Blizzard, one start-up has quietly built a new kind of mobile game business.
Scopely is tackling the $25 billion worldwide mobile game market with a unique approach. Instead of creating brands in-house, like Zynga and King do, Scopely acts as a game producer and distributor, focusing on free games.
The Los Angeles-based company takes a page from Hollywood studios. It partners with developers who have their own games, or plays matchmaker between developers and big media brands. The company draws on a wealth of data to tweak games to help them expand revenue from digital add-ons, and to better market and distribute the games.
Scopely told CNBC on Tuesday it has a $200 million annual run rate, with a 600 percent growth rate over the last 10 months. The company also announced a new partnership with WWE to launch a free mobile game, "WWE Champions." This comes after a string of best-sellers: Last year Scopely released a "Walking Dead" game "Road to Survival," which hit more than 4 million downloads in its first week, 10 million downloads in its first 90 days.