SciPlay is betting a few new hires will help it become the largest casino in your pocket.
After hiring 120 employees already this year, the Las Vegas-based digital game developer and publisher announced on Wednesday that it aims to hire another 30 in Austin. Over the past four years, the 500-person company said it has grown its Austin presence to 130 people. The startup plans to hire software engineers, product managers, game artists and more, with the aim of becoming the largest mobile game developer in the world, according to founder Aaron Schurman.
“I’m a weird dude. I like to do things my own way. It’s a large reason that we’re in Austin. I love how Austin celebrates its weirdness,” Schurman told Built In.
“Aside from the weird aspect it’s a tech hub,” Schurman continued. “It’s growing.”
Schurman founded the company in 1997 and, after a series of acquisitions, SciPlay went public last year. The company had most recently operated as the social division within the global gaming company Scientific Games. SciPlay now offers seven web and mobile games, the majority of which are casino-themed. During the first quarter of 2020, the company’s revenues rose 20 percent, an increase Schurman credited to bored users turning to SciPlay’s realistic games as casinos remain closed.
“We absolutely have seen a growth of users and that, again, for the most part goes back to people being stuck at home, but also people not being able to go to the casino that are looking for a like experience,” Schurman said.
Schurman said the most misunderstood thing about the company is the longevity of its games. He named the Jackpot Party game as an example, which was the company’s first game after it was acquired in 2012.
“It’s still growing today. It grew last month. It grew last quarter. It grew last year. Last year it over doubled the market growth,” Schurman said. “That game’s seven years old. So even though we have some amazing stats like that, sometimes people can too often worry about what’s next.”
He said the company aims to compete with big name studios like EA, Rovio Entertainment and King Digital Entertainment. Moving forward, he expects SciPlay to move from developing social games that require interaction between players to focus more on developing casual games, like its Monopoly Casino offering, which is targeted at a wide, mass market audience. In late June, SciPlay paid an undisclosed sum to acquire Come2Play, an Israeli casual game developer.
“We’re in one of the largest segments with the social, which is social casino, but we’re expanding into casual, which is an even a bigger market,” Schurman said.