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Zynga brings in online gambling exec as COO
Zynga brings in online gambling exec as COO
August 31, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

August 31, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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    9 comments
More: Social/Online, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: After losing a number of high-level executives recently, Zynga has brought in a new chief operating officer with plenty of experience in the online gambling space -- a market the social studio has been pushing into.

Maytal Ginzburg Olsha previously served as the SVP of corporate and regulated markets for real-money gambling site 888.com, and will soon take on the role of COO of new markets at Zynga, according to Social Casino Intelligence.

Zynga said last month that it already has real-money gambling products in development, and that it intends to release them in markets where they are regulated and open (the United States is currently not one of those markets) starting in the first half of 2013.

Olsha's appointment comes at a point when a number of key employees are leaving Zynga, including former COO John Schappert, CityVille GM Alan Patmore, Mafia Wars 2 GM Erik Bethke, CCO Mike Verdu, and vice presidents Bill Mooney and Brian Birtwistle.


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Comments


Terry Matthes
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Well, at least we know from here on out it's all about getting into players wallets and not about making quality games.

Joe Cain
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Not to kick them while they're down (especially because I have friends who work there that legitimately try to add as much quality to their games as possible), but was that ever really Zynga's goal? I think they certainly tried to make "addicting" games (and succeeded, if only for a while), but focusing the company's energy at the corporate level toward making "quality" games is another matter altogether.

Mark Sivak
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Yes Terry because every other developer operates at a loss and doesn't care about their bottom line. That is why the quality of the average game is so high...

Also how does the hiring of a COO actual imply something about the quality of a company's games? In 2005 Microsoft hired a new COO from Walmart, that didn't mean that they were going to sell low quality games at wholesale prices that were made in China. The COO of Microsoft before that was from Proctor and Gamble, that didn't mean they were going to make games about beauty and grooming products.

But go ahead and get your required Zynga hate in, it must be a day ending in y.

Michael Joseph
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@Mark. I think you're jumping on the word 'quality' when perhaps Terry misspoke and meant 'good faith' games. There are a lot of bad games out there for sure, but a lot of them at least started out with the intention of being something the creators thought would offer a good value for their users.

Mark Sivak
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No Michael I wasn't jumping on the word quality. I was making the point that the hiring of a COO from outside the game industry does not mean that will have any bearing on the games made by the company.

But then you make some implication that Zynga doesn't think their games are a good value for their customers or that their games were made in bad faith. I got news for you: Zynga is a company filled with talented people who are trying to make compelling gaming experiences, they are not staffed with mustache twirling villains waiting for their moment to screw over their customers.

So you can continue to hate and degrade, the Internet is made for trolls. Those people will still show up to work in the morning and you can keep whatever false since of superiority you have for being part of vast majority on Gamasutra that hates Zynga.

Michael Joseph
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If Zynga were stacked with moustache twirling villains I wouldn't waste my breath commenting about them or their games. The fact they are not filled with evil people reminds us just how easy it is for energetic, intelligent young people full of promise with their entire lives in front of them to forsake their principles (eg. contribute to the creation of exploitative products) in order to survive and provide for their families.

If Zynga (at large) thinks thier games are a good value, then it's in the same vein as slot machine manufacturers feeling their products offer a good value to gamblers. I didn't mean to imply any negative feelings about Zynga, I'm stating it outright. Continue to feel free to dismiss me as a troll. But I am quite sincere.

Mark Sivak
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The reason I call you a troll is because you were able to pull the comments so far off track. You have yet to weigh in on the article or even mention a single fact about it.

Muir Freeland
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God knows I hate it when discussions take on a life of their own.

Terry Matthes
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Double Post.


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