Former Playdom GM takes the reins of social game start-up 519 Games

Lloyd Melnick
Lloyd Melnick

Hey, at least it's not another traditional game exec jumping ship. Former Playdom GM Lloyd Melnick (pictured) left the Disney-owned social game maker earlier this summer for 519 Games, a social game start-up that plans to release its first game in 2012. Melnick announced the move on the down-low through his personal blog on his first day as CEO, Aug. 29.

The studio is a joint venture between EW Scripps Company and Capitol Broadcasting. But more importantly, the GM-turned-chief has big ambitions for 519 Games. (Like, massive, turn-the-industry-on-its-head ambitions.) "We are currently building a fantastic team and will be one of the top five social gaming companies (both social web and social mobile) by the end of 2012," Melnick wrote in a blog post. "More details will emerge over the next few weeks."

Those details haven't exactly emerged yet, but it's only a matter of time. Melnick, who worked for Disney International as Playdom's head of international operations, had nothing but thanks and praise for the company. "It was this great collection of people that helped me learn and grow professionally that I can now move on to the biggest opportunity I have ever had," Melnick wrote. "Again, thank you all."

Melnick left Playdom and Disney just as doubts grew as to whether the latter could properly use the former to succeed in social games. Since then, Playdom has finally moved to take advantage of Disney's immense branding support, first slapping "Disney's" onto Gnome Town. A number of Playdom games featuring the company's properties will see the light in 2012. Playdom also announced Secret Agent X, a Facebook game shrouded in secrecy that lives up to its title--very sneaky, sis.

[Via Gamasutra]

Is it unwise or admirable for Melnick to challenge the top five before his first game hits? Can Disney and Playdom chomp on an even bigger chunk of the top five with Disney-branded games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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