Mobile-messaging network Tango has hired Todd Arnold, a former executive at Zynga who led the “Ville” business, to lead its growing games division.
The new hire shows how important gaming is to increase both profits and usage of new mobile networks. Tango is a modern messaging network that replaces old-fashioned text messages on smartphones. And like Asian mobile networks like Line and Kakao, Tango is investing heavily in making its platform friendly to games.
Arnold brings 20 years of experience to Tango, including four years at Zynga, where he led a 600-person group that was responsible for creating “Ville” games such as FarmVille.
“I love making games, but what excited me most about joining Tango’s team was the opportunity to introduce brand new audiences to games through a social-mobile platform — the same way we saw first-time players discover games on web-based social networks, like Facebook, a few years ago,” said Arnold, the new vice president of games at Tango, in a statement. “I look forward to working with game developers and leveraging Tango’s social communication channels to create new gaming hits on the platform.”
Arnold’s hiring is part of the company’s strategic plan to grow by opening up its platform to third-party game developers. The company has 16 games from 12 partners, including top publishers like Gameloft.
The company said that it has had 150 million registered users on the messaging platform, and daily membership is growing organically.
“Tango’s gaming division is growing exponentially, but we recognize that its ongoing success depends heavily on the support we provide our developer network,” said Eric Setton, the chief technology officer and co-founder at Tango. “Todd Arnold has a decorated history of establishing chart-topping and award-winning games here in the U.S., making him just the talent Tango needs to help game developers find success on our platform.”
Tango was founded in 2009 and is based in Mountain View, Calif.