With a funding round of $8.5 million from an A-List of investors back in September, and the recent successful launch of Mini Golf MatchUp on both iOS and Android platforms, Scopely is clearly doing something special.  The question is, what?  Is Scopely trying to be the next big mobile publisher, platform, both?  The answer, according to CBO Andy Kleinman, is none of the above.

Scopely wants to be the HBO of mobile gaming, which is a refreshing goal, since everyone and their mother wants to be a publisher.  But what exactly does that mean?

Scopely’s strategy is to work with the most talented indie developers and do everything in their disposal to help create mobile game franchises.  Taking the HBO example to the next level, Scopely aims to discover the next David Chase and help create the next Sopranos.

According to Kleinman, Scopely works directly with the game developers on making games better (before they launch), distribution (launch), and monetization (after launch).


Scopely’s Mini Golf MatchUp debuted at #1 on the App Store

In particular, they are very focused on retention (industry types always talk about getting installs, but not retaining users, I’ve noticed) and how to monetize the 95% of users who may never buy an item in the team (for example, they’ve had success with sponsored tournaments in with Dice with Buddies).

With the successful launch of Mini Golf MatchUp and a litany of upcoming games in their portfolio, it’s so far so good for Scopely.  The key will be turning #1 hits into enduring franchises like HBO’s Sopranos or Game of Thrones.  With the competition in the App Store and Google Play, it takes lightning to strike to get in the top 10.  To stay in the Top 10 and be an enduring hit, lightning has to strike twice.  

Time will tell if Scopely’s goal of being the equivalent of a cable network for mobile games pays off in the end.