Tapjoy, which has been beefing up its executive ranks as of late, just hired a new chief marketing officer who was credited with having launched the original PlayStation console back in the 1990s.
The new chief marketing officer, Peter Dille, most recently was senior vice president of marketing and the PlayStation Network for the Sony Computer Entertainment’s Americas unit. His hiring comes at a time when Tapjoy is juggling serving both game developers and trying to build out a healthy business working with more traditional brand advertisers. Hiring a seasoned executive from the console world is yet another sign of the disruptive impact mobile and free-to-play gaming is having on the industry.
Tapjoy faces a number of challenges in supporting multiple platforms. It’s pushing heavily onto Android after facing a setback on the iOS platform earlier this spring, when Apple cracked down on offer walls where users can download apps in exchange for virtual currency. That practice was a robust revenue source for Tapjoy, which was then abruptly cut off. Tapjoy is finding replacement revenue sources through the Android platform and in incentivized video advertising, which Apple still allows.
The company also has much higher expectations than it did a year ago, considering the $51 million in new venture funding it has announced this year. One round was in July with $30 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co. while the other one was announced in January with a $21 million round led by Rho Ventures. Both rounds may price Tapjoy out of acquisition range, meaning it may have to pursue an offering in public markets at some point.
The company recently hired a new chief financial officer as well when it picked up Al Wood, who has experience with leading other technology companies through the initial public offering process. The problem is the market timing has changed given a global equities rout on concerns about the solvency of European banks and health of the U.S. economy. Many other companies like Groupon and Zynga are said to be reconsidering their timing now.