Mattel Hires Former Scopely Executive To Lead New Gaming Efforts

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Mattel Hires Former Scopely Executive To Lead New Gaming Efforts
Courtesy of Mattel

Mattel has poached a big one. Former Scopely executive and gaming industry veteran Mike DeLaet will join the El Segundo-based toy giant as its global head of digital gaming next week.


DeLaet officially joins Mattel July 25. In his new role he'll be responsible for leading Mattel’s renewed push into digital gaming (read: not hardware or physical games, most likely), including licensing the company’s beloved characters and self-publishing video games.

DeLaet’s been in the gaming industry for over two decades. He got his start managing Sprint’s gaming business long before it was folded into T-Mobile. Before working at Scopely as senior vice president of strategic partnerships, DeLaet founded Los Angeles-based indie developer Rogue Games, which last year inked a partnership to bring its games to Netflix. The streamer has its own ambitions for conquering the mobile gaming sector — and squeezing more value out of its IP — through game development. Netflix has garnered over 13 million downloads across 24 mobile titles so far, led by two “Stranger Things” games.

Mattel’s got a rich history of turning its beloved characters into video game IP. Some of its past games that came out in the early 2000s for the PC and Xbox 360 still enchant fans – look no farther than the enduring love for the “Barbie Horse Adventures” series co-published by Activision in 2003.

Mattel is betting that DeLaet’s experience growing Scopely’s mobile gaming business and helping the company become one of Los Angeles’ most valuable startups can help the iconic toy maker find a new winning formula. His relationships with other big publishers and developers like Sony, Google, Apple and Xbox don’t hurt.

“I’ve had a fantastic Scopely experience working with some of the most talented people in games, and I am so proud that I had the opportunity to help build one of the largest mobile-first game brands in the world,” DeLaet said in a LinkedIn post Thursday.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity to help Mattel grow its gaming business while touching millions of customers with the plethora of brands they have grown to love,” DeLaet added. “Mattel has also been a great partner to Scopely for many years, and I look forward to connecting all the dots between Scopely and Mattel.”

Mattel has already ported He-Man into a “Roblox” game, and under DeLaet’s leadership will seek out more partnerships that combine classic toys with newer games that are a hit with Gen Z. It’s unclear if this means we’ll get a reboot of “Secret Agent Barbie” for mobile any time soon, but fingers crossed.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup

Steve Huff
Steve Huff is an Editor and Reporter at dot.LA. Steve was previously managing editor for The Metaverse Post and before that deputy digital editor for Maxim magazine. He has written for Inside Hook, Observer and New York Mag. Steve is the author of two official tie-ins books for AMC’s hit “Breaking Bad” prequel, “Better Call Saul.” He’s also a classically-trained tenor and has performed with opera companies and orchestras all over the Eastern U.S. He lives in the greater Boston metro area with his wife, educator Dr. Dana Huff.
Former Amazon and Lyft Execs Launch Incubator and Tech Talent Hybrid Startup
Photo by Ryz Labs

RYZ Labs wants to be a one-stop shop for startups looking to scale up and add new talent.

California natives Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler created RYZ Labs, and their résumés make it clear they’ve got the knowledge and experience necessary to help others hit the ground running. In 2006, the pair launched California Burrito Co., a chain restaurant with international reach; in 2013, they founded the “Uber for Laundry,” Washio. Add in Metzner’s five years at Amazon and Nadler’s time at Lyft, and you have a potent combination of industry savvy and entrepreneurial flair.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending