Eric Futoran: “Mobile is the most personal technology of our lives.” | Pocket

Scopely’s Journey: An Interview with Eric Futoran

Scopely, a leading games publisher globally, has been responsible for hit titles like Monopoly GO! and Stumble Guys. Recently, the company made headlines when it was acquired by Savvy Games Group. But what is the story behind Scopely? In an exclusive interview, we spoke with Scopely co-founder Eric Futoran to delve into his experience in the gaming industry, the challenges of building Scopely, and his proudest achievements. Futoran also sheds light on his own venture, Embrace, which aims to empower mobile teams in creating exceptional games.

Getting Started in the Gaming Industry

Futoran shares his unconventional journey into the gaming industry, highlighting the importance of identifying user problems. While Facebook dominated the app ecosystem in 2010, Futoran noticed a lack of truly social interactions within gaming apps. Users desired meaningful connections beyond superficial mechanics like gifting that were posted on their social feeds. This sparked Futoran’s foray into building apps that facilitated genuine user connections within the confines of Facebook.

Challenges of Building Scopely

Futoran acknowledges that understanding key game metrics and knowing when to take action from them is a significant challenge for any game developer or publisher. Decisions such as discontinuing a game, introducing new features, or prioritizing vendor integrations often cause dilemma and uncertainty. Futoran’s primary focus was on comprehending the lifetime value (LTV) of a game versus effective cost per installs (CPI) to determine a game’s potential success. Building a data-driven, methodical decision-making process allowed Scopely to develop successful games that thrived for years.

The Birth of Embrace

Futoran recognized the critical gaps within the mobile ecosystem while building Scopely. The lack of vendors who truly understood the needs of mobile teams, especially engineers, presented an opportunity to address these gaps. Futoran played a key role in founding MaxAds, a solution that simplified the complexity of ad vendors and their software development kits (SDKs). However, another gap persisted in managing mobile game experiences effectively. This led Futoran to establish Embrace in 2016, a platform designed to help mobile teams, particularly game engineers, improve user experiences by providing comprehensive data and tools.

Recent Funding and Growth

Embrace recently secured an additional $20 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $70 million. Futoran plans to utilize these funds to fuel Embrace’s growth further. With a deep understanding of game developers’ needs and unmatched expertise in the industry, Embrace aims to offer tailored solutions specifically for game developers. Notably, mobile gaming stands as Embrace’s fastest-growing customer category, building strong partnerships with gaming giants like Wildlife, Take-Two, and Miniclip.

Addressing Performance Issues in Mobile Gaming

Futoran discusses the complexity mobile engineering teams face in identifying and diagnosing performance issues. Mobile technology’s personal nature, combined with infinite challenges and fragmented solutions, necessitates comprehensive data and tools. Embrace empowers teams by providing session-level data and detailed insights into crashes or app not responding (ANR) instances. Resolving issues caused by problematic SDKs becomes effortless with Embrace’s pinpoint analysis, saving valuable time and maintaining team morale.

The Future of Gaming Trends

Looking ahead, Futoran notes the ongoing trend of increasingly social mechanics, immersive gameplay, and higher-quality experiences in mobile gaming. These trends are driven by users’ rising expectations. Futoran believes that the next big thing, akin to the App Store revolution, is still on the horizon while highlighting the emergence of Apple Vision Pro. However, he emphasizes that delivering a captivating story and immersive experience remains crucial for games to retain users beyond the short-term.