Zynga may finally be moving toward a larger publishing role in the social and mobile games industry, as signaled by the recent hiring of Rob Dyer as Head of Partner Publishing, according to a LinkedIn update. Dyer was previously SVP of Publisher Relations at console game publisher Sony Computer Entertainment America.
We’ve heard rumors that Zynga intended to announcing publishing partnerships with game developers in the past, but none of those have borne out into actual products published by Zynga. Instead, Zynga has aggressively pursued companies for talent and studio acquisition, picking up as many as 13 companies in 2011. Other times, Zynga has elected to compete directly — most recently releasing Dream Zoo on mobile as a competitor to Pocket Gems’ Tap Zoo, for example.
In bringing on Dyer, Zynga now has a head of publishing with experience in brokering long-term publishing deals between game developers and publishers. SCEA’s publishing branch covers a host of second and third party developers that produce multi-game franchises for Sony devices like the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable — including Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank series), ThatGameCompany (flOw), and Q-Games (which recently self-published its PlayStation Network game PixelJunk Monsters on Facebook). Dyer first entered the video games industry at Crystal Dynamics, which was acquired by publisher Eidos in 1998. He left for SCEA in 2008.
Zynga had no comment on the hire. Yesterday, we reported that monetization and distribution service Tapjoy was exploring a sale to Zynga; Dyer previously worked with Tapjoy CMO Peter Dille at Sony.