Snap Games Grows, Hiring Two New Leadership Positions
Sam primarily covers entertainment and media for dot.LA. Previously he was Marjorie Deane Fellow at The Economist, where he wrote for the business and finance sections of the print edition. He has also worked at the XPRIZE Foundation, U.S. Government Accountability Office, KCRW, and MLB Advanced Media (now Disney Streaming Services). He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson, an MPP from UCLA Luskin and a BA in History from University of Michigan. Email him at samblake@dot.LA and find him on Twitter @hisamblake
Santa Monica-based Snap continues to grow its gaming operation, announcing two new leadership hires for the division on Thursday.
Panayoti (Pany) Haritatos will be Snap's head of games. He will report to Will Wu, the company's director of product. Haritatos was most recently chief operating officer of game publisher and platform Kongregate, and was previously an executive at mobile games titan Zynga. He will be responsible for Snap's gaming strategy and expanding its gaming content, working across the company's product, engineering and partnership teams, as well as with external game developers.
Jessica Shetty is now head of games partnerships, North America. She will report to John Imah, Snap's head of games and entertainment partnerships. Most recently Shetty was head of mobile gaming partnerships, North America at Facebook, where she was a founding member of the company's Instant Games platform team. Her responsibilities will include Snap's gaming partner strategy and expanding Snap's developer ecosystem.
Jessica Shetty (L) and Panayoti (Pany) Haritatos (R) will join Snap's gaming division's leadership team.
In 2019, Snap introduced Snap Games to allow Snapchatters to play games – whether developed by Snap or external partners – directly in the app. The following year, the company highlighted its software development kit's integration with other applications, including functionality that allows users to bring their Bitmoji characters into other publishers' games. (Snap acquired Bitmoji in 2016, reportedly for $64.2 million.)
Over 100 million Snapchat users have played Snap's games, the company reports. Snap has 238 million daily active users, most of them young.
The new hires will seek to build on the company's gaming momentum.
Mobile gaming is the largest portion of the $150 billion+ gaming industry, which is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023.
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