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Zynga founder backs LA startup Artie to make games for Threads

Meta’s latest social media platform will be compatible with games on mobile
Zynga founder backs LA startup Artie to make games for Threads
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Threads, the latest app from Meta and a potential Twitter competitor has been a prominent part of public discourse and discussion recently, having garnered more than 100 million users around the world in its first week of launch.

Also notable is the fact that Artie – a startup backed by Zynga founder Mark Pincus – is looking to bring games to the platform.

Funding into the LA developer has also come from former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, and investors Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, as reported by TechCrunch.

Google vice president of product Manuel Bronstein and YouTube founder Chad Hurley made their investments into Artie during a $10 million seed round.

Support from Zynga

Artie is aiming to bring onto Threads games that have "app-quality", an evolution from its prior plan to create games available via web browser. Now with Threads as its primary focus, Artie’s strategy will be similar to how Zynga’s FarmVille and Words With Friends appeared on Meta’s more established social media platform Facebook.

Importantly, in this case Artie’s games will be exclusive to mobile and utilise 5G, cloud technology and faster GPUs. Cloud gaming has also been a buzzing topic lately, due in no small part to the FTC’s concerns that Microsoft would gain an unfair advantage in the cloud gaming space if its acquisition of Activision Blizzard should go ahead.

Links in Threads users’ bios or posts will lead to specific games on the platform, clickable to gain access and to play with friends without any extra downloads required. This also allows Artie to avoid paying out commissions to the app stores – something which has led to many rifts between developers and stores, as seen in the Apple vs Epic case.

Artie’s first Threads game is expected this autumn, and while not being an app would also allow this Zynga-backed startup to wriggle around compliance with Apple’s divisive ATT, Artie CEO Ryan Horrigan has acknowledged the importance of privacy and is complying with the California Consumer Privacy Act and European General Data Protection Regulation.

"What makes Threads really special for us is we can get back to the idea of playing games with friends in 2023," he added.

As revealed last month through the FTC's Microsoft lawsuit, Zynga was among the big names in mobile on its shopping list. We listed Zynga parent company Take-Two Interactive as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022, and will be unveiling our list for 2023 in the coming weeks.