Andy Kleinman knows mobile games.
After several stints at small gaming studios, Kleinman moved to Walt Disney Co.’s gaming division Disney Interactive when it acquired Playdom for $763 million in 2010. Kleinman then became general manager at Zynga before setting down in Culver City as chief business officer of mobile entertainment network Scopely.
But now, Kleinman has a bit of game fatigue having worked in the industry for nearly a decade. So he’s getting out. At least that’s the plan.
Kleinman, along with three others whose names he declined to share – they’re in the process of leaving their current jobs – have co-founded mobile products studio MobLabs.
“The idea is to not do games,” Kleinman said. “The focus is fully mobile. Things that we believe are engaging products. We want things that are appealing to mass audiences.”
MobLabs plans to set up an office in Venice. But the studio is already working on a couple of apps. Kleinman, a little winded over the phone as he took a break from meetings in New York, acknowledged they might even kill those apps, depending on how things play out.
There are two MobLabs teams, one in Los Angeles and the other in China. The L.A. staff of eight works on product development, engineering and marketing and boasts an impressive pedigree. Scopely, Zynga, Disney and Yahoo are just some of the companies on their resumes. And MobLabs plans to quickly scale the five-person engineering team working across the Pacific.
MobLabs isn’t thinking about a revenue model yet, instead focusing first on securing investor interest and maximizing in-house product development. Kleinman couldn’t definitively say what kinds of apps the studio plans to focus on.
Maybe fitness. Maybe social. But it might be safe to say they won’t be of the gaming nature.