Mobile Gaming Unicorn Scopely Invests $20 Million In New Game Studio

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.

Mobile gaming studio Scopely’s ​offices.
Courtesy of Scopely

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Mobile games studio Scopely is investing $20 million in a new game developer called Burlingame Studios and plans to co-create a game with the company.

The investment is part of Culver City-based Scopely’s plan to expand its “ecosystem” of studios that it has built, bought or backed around the world, the company said Wednesday. The goal is to grow Scopely’s portfolio by pairing its expertise in game-making, technology and publishing with specialized teams from internal and external studios.

“We believe our ecosystem is extremely unique and are always energized when new partners see the value of our infrastructure and technology—specifically our platform Playgami—to make their fun, creative gameplay into a big business,” Scopely chief revenue officer and board member Tim O’Brien said in a statement.

Founded in 2011, Scopely has created popular mobile game titles such as “Star Trek Fleet Command,” “MARVEL Strike Force” and “Scrabble GO.” A unicorn valued at $5.4 billion, the company has raised $1 billion in funding to date and employs roughly 1,900 people, according to a Scopely spokesperson. As well as its Culver City headquarters, Scopely has operations in 17 cities around the world including Seoul, Tokyo, London and Boston.

Scopely did not share details about the game it will develop with Burlingame Studios. The new studio features a team of veteran gamemakers, many of whom worked together at CrowdStar—a mobile games developer that launched titles like “Design Home,” in which players decorate houses, and “Covet Fashion,” a shopping and dress-up game. CrowdStar, based in the Bay Area city of Burlingame, was acquired in 2017 by Glu Mobile, which itself was bought by Electronic Arts last year.

“Our team is excited to start a new adventure together as Burlingame Studios, and with Scopely, build on our collective track record of big wins,” McGill said in a statement.

Other Scopely investments include game software and venture capital company Animoca Brands and blockchain firm Polygon, as well as game studios Tag Games and Pixel Toys. In October, Scopely acquired GSN Games from Sony Pictures Entertainment for $1 billion.

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Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

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