LISA MARINO | ROCKYOU GAMES & MEDIA | REDWOOD CITY, CALIFORNIA
developer + publisher + advertising solutions
Bio: As RockYou’s Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Marino is a key driver of RockYou’s growth and success, having taken on a variety of responsibilities across the company over the past several years. She served as RockYou’s Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all business functions and leading all brand and ad sales initiatives for the company. As COO, Lisa was instrumental in hiring executive talent and acquiring new gaming studios to solidify RockYou’s position as a leader in the rapidly evolving social entertainment space.Lisa held the position of Vice President of sales at RockYou, where she created and led a team that generated more than $6 million during its first year.Before that she served as Chief Revenue Officer and expanded the company’s media business, making RockYou one of the largest social media advertising networks where brands can meaningfully engage users in-game.
Lisa is a thought leader in social media marketing; she has been recognized as one of the most influential women of the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and has spoken at leading conferences and events including OMMA, iMedia Summits, CES, Casual Connect and Digital Hollywood. Lisa received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, along with an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Jovan Johnson, app attorney: To say that RockYou is a noteworthy developer only tells part of the story. RockYou is clearly a leader in social advertising. Did you plan to focus on both areas when the company was opened in 2005?
Lisa Marino: When the company was founded in 2005 by Lance Tokuda and Jia Shen, RockYou served as an app developer for both the Facebook and MySpace platforms. In 2007, RockYou switched focus to develop social games for Facebook in addition to apps. Since then we’ve built out our offering and focus on publishing third-party titles and developing games. In an increasingly competitive space we’re honing in on our unique offering. RockYou’s strengths are in monetization and distribution. Our media business is very successful, with ad monetization at over 50% of ARPU on Zoo World 2 – the highest known of any social game.
Jovan: Is Facebook the ideal platform for casual games? Why?
Lisa Marino: We believe Facebook is ideal for many genres of gaming, including casual. Our recent study with Interpret found that social gamers are highly social individuals and Facebook is a great platform to play and interact with peers and new friends alike. However, we see social as both online and mobile, in essence a cross-platform experience gamers will be able to play anytime anywhere.
Jovan: Do you plan expand beyond the Facebook platform, perhaps to HTML5?
Lisa Marino: We want to be wherever social gamers are and offer a quality play experience. We can’t reveal anything specific about our plans for expansion yet, but we are of course thinking ahead of what’s next.
Jovan: RockYou is led by an accomplished management team and has investments from venture firms that have experienced tremendous success backing software and Internet companies. What tips do you have for developers looking to build sustainable studios despite having limited capital and contacts?
Lisa Marino: One option for independent developers is to look into publishing partners. Publishers can help reduce developers’ cost and time to first dollar of revenue by co-funding development, and by leveraging their existing libraries of tools and APIs. This means developers can focus on creating high entertainment value for gamers. Distribution and operations requirements are also on the rise. A publisher can help with live operations like customer support, QA, and localization. These are essentials for a game developer who has ambitions to scale.
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