New support services firm is totally focused on gaming

PopCap vet forms dev support studio PlayFab

Ex-PopCap executive James Gwertzman has formed a new company, PlayFab, to offer back-end support services for developers.

Gwertzman started the firm with the help of Uber Entertainment, the team behind Super Monday Night Combat, GeekWire reports.

Uber had been attempting, in vain, to licence its own back-end services to other developers. After hearing Gwertzman speak at a conference about why games fail on the back-end, it decided to approach him for a partnership, offering him both the technology and financial backing.

"We let game companies just focus on building a game, making it fun and doing what they do best," Gwertzman explained.

"We take care of making sure they have a reliable service. We’re confident we can do it better, cheaper and be more reliable than most developers.”

Gwertzman said PlayFab’s total focus is on gaming, and secondly, Uber’s technology has been in development for three years before the company even started.

“Because we only do games, we bake into our platform a bunch of the best practices and knowledge around,” he said.

PlayFab is now in the process of closing a $2.5 million funding round from angels and investors.

Gwertzman started at PopCap as director of business development in June 2005 following its acquisition of his casual studio, Sprout Games. In 2007, he became vice president of the Asia-Pacific region, opening PopCap’s first office in Shanghai and later establishing studios in Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore.

He left PopCap in June 2013 as company’s head of strategic development.

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