John Schappert, EA’s Chief Operating Officer, resigned Monday to take a job heading up Zynga’s games division. The news comes from a SEC filing uncovered by reporters early this morning.
While at EA, Schappert helped to develop mobile and social games for the company, making his new home a natural fit. Prior to that, he’d worked for Microsoft as Corporate Vice President of their Interactive Entertainment Business, a fancy way of saying he oversaw the Live and Microsoft Game Studios divisions.
The optimist in me wants to think that Schappert will be good for Zynga, bringing some semblance of console sensibility to a company that basically charges people ludicrous amounts of money to tinker with a fancy menu, but my realist says he’s just going where the money is. I can’t fault him: Zynga is currently valued at up to $10 billion, and as reprehensible as many folks – myself included – find their business model, the “games” they put out always seem to find widespread appeal. Time will have to tell.