TapZen launched today, headed up by Zynga’s former Chief Creative Officer, Mike Verdu. TapZen will focus mainly on tablet gaming, but will be combining features popularized in the free-to-play online gaming model developed by Zynga. Verdu has not completely distanced himself from the declining Zynga (who saw shares drop to $3.19 at the close of the Nasdaq on April 30, 2013). With a $10 million investment from his former employer, Verdu promises that TapZen will allow Zynga to “take advantage of any breakthrough we make.”
There is little information available on the new company, which began posting job openings on their new website. However, Verdu stated his motivation for leaving Zynga and committing to the start-up was, “To be reminded what it’s like to create something as fast as you can and work with a small team of people you adore and trust — there’s nothing like that,” Verdu said in an interview. “It would have been hard to figure out what they could have done to keep me.”
Verdu is not alone in his sentiments as to why he choose to leave behind the large powerhouse of Zynga, and form his own new smaller company. This way of thinking is indicative of the start-up culture that has emerged around online and tablet gaming in recent years with more and more creative designers choosing to go the independent route rather than devote their talents to larger companies.
Source: Business Week