What’s next for Zoopy’s Jason Elk?

 ·19 Oct 2012

Zoopy co-founder and former CEO, Jason Elk, has made a move into gaming, joining social games developer RightShift as its chief product instigator.

RightShift is a social gaming company that designs, builds and supports social web and mobile products that target a global audience.

The company’s biggest game to-date is Clickfun Casino, a free-to-play casino-style game that currently has around one million monthly users across multiple web platforms – 770,000 on Facebook, alone.

Elk will use the skills he attained at mobile platform, Zoopy, to execute his new responsiblities, which mostly include the strategy and implementation surrounding RightShift’s core functions as social game developers.

These range from understanding freemium and real money gaming mechanics, formulating product strategies, analysing the market in which RightShift operates in – and even getting involved in the game development itself.

“The strategies in this space are diverse and complex and, as we build more products for more platforms, the learning continues,” Elk wrote on his blog.

“In a nutshell, and although I haven’t been here very long, it’s a space that’s hard not to love.”

Leaving Zoopy behind

In July 2012, Jason Elk and co-founder Pat Elk announced that they would be leaving South African mobile video platform, Zoopy, which the pair founded in 2007.

At the time it was founded, the platform competed against the likes of YouTube by allowing users to upload and share videos, photos, podcasts and blogs.

Mobile operator, Vodacom decided to invest in Zoopy in 2008, purchasing a 40% share stake in the company. Vodacom increased its stake in the company to 75% in February 2009, and later acquired the remaining 25% stake in the company in August 2010.

At the time of the announced departure, Elk didn’t give much detail besides saying it was time for the duo “to move on to new opportunities”.

On his blog, Elk gave more clarity on the matter, saying that the decision to leave Zoopy came after Vodacom made the decision to relocate the company to Johannesburg.

“After our entire Cape Town team declined the offer to move, and had chosen instead to leave the company (leaving just one employee at Zoopy in our Johannesburg office), Pat and I decided that a fork in the road had come for us as well,” he said.

“We didn’t want to leave Cape Town either, a decision made easier by the fact that the magical team we had assembled would be no more.”

“The biggest pity (besides losing our team) was that several new revenue plans had started to pay off and we were weeks away from launching a brand new aspect of Zoopy that would have added to the South African mobile media space while generating even further revenue.”

Zoopy is currently “off air” in preparation for a re-launch in November. Vodacom has been involved in the reorganisation process of Zoopy ahead of its re-launch.

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