April 30, 2013
Mike Verdu, a former member of the Zynga team, has announced the launch of TapZen, Inc. The new company combines the free online-gaming model made popular by Zynga, with games created for tablet devices. Powered by a $10 million investment from Zynga, TapZen is based in San Francisco, and Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. As part of their investment, Zynga is tasked with helping to promote TapZen. Additionally, the new company will let Zynga “take advantage of any breakthrough we make,” according to Vendu. The creation of TapZen comes at a time of declining fortunes for Zynga. In six years, the Words With Friends creator has grown to 3,000 employees. At the same time, users have moved away from games played on websites, which is where the company once thrived. As a result, the company’s revenue continues to fall, as does the exodus of employees. Besides TapZen, former Zynga employees are now running 12 Gigs Inc., Bee Cave Games Inc., and Red Hot Labs, among others. Vendu said the decision to leave Zynga was prompted by a urge to return to the small startup environment he missed. He stated:
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.Very little is known about TapZen, other than that they will focus on creating tablet games. There is little doubt, however, where those titles are likely to be released first -- on Apple's best-selling iPad. We'll keep you updated on TapZen's progress. In the meantime, TapZen is hiring quite a few professionals for employment at both of their offices. For more information, visit their official site.