Mooney will be helping the company turn its popular Talking Friends series of apps — which now boasts 90 million monthly active users and 300 million downloads — into an entertainment franchise that may include films, books and music. It’s a route that mobile gaming peer Rovio Mobile, the maker of Angry Birds, has gone down in bringing advisory talent like former Marvel chairman David Maisel.
The news isn’t surprising considering Outfit7 has been talking about the merchandising possibilities of the Talking Friends apps since last January. After chief executive officer Andrej Nabergoj stepped down in July, the company found a new chairman in Narry Singh. It also hired Paul Baldwin, a gaming executive with experience turning games like Tomb Raider into multimedia properties as its chief marketing officer. During this whole time, Outfit7 has opted to go the bootstrapped route, declining to accept funding from venture investors or seriously pursue acquisition talks.
In December, the company announced it was partnering with brand advertising agency Beanstalk — known for representing brands like Range Rover, AT&T and Harley Davidson — to launch a merchandising business based on its characters.