Laralyn McWilliams Leaves Loot Drop, Joins iWin as VP of Creative

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By AJ Glasser Comment

Family Feud developer iWin has hired on Loot Drop’s Laralyn McWilliams, Dragons of Atlantis developer Nick Rush, and mobile developer Randy Angle as part of the company’s plan to get its casual games download catalog into social and mobile formats.

Speaking to Inside Social Games, McWilliams explains that while she did initially join Loot Drop in April 2011 after a six-year stint at Sony Online Entertainment, she interviewed with iWin during that same time period while looking for a place in the social games industry.

“I had a change of heart and wound up accepting at iWin,” she explains. “There’s a great gift with iWin’s brands in that they’ve been tested [and] there’s a wealth of content and learning. The greatest challenge is taking the brands an extending them into some of the new spaces — like [making] a Jewel Quest mobile game, for example. That’s what appeals to me about this role. I’m always interested in new frontiers.”

McWilliams’ primary experience in social games comes from working on free-to-play MMO Free Realms and some social games that were ultimately canceled as SOE exited the social games industry. She also benefits from the example of other casual games download companies that struggled to port their catalog of successful titles to social and mobile platforms with comparable success. Luckily, iWin already has traction in social with its lineup of social games based on TV game show licenses. Its newest title in this genre, The $100,000 Pyramid, launched last week.

Going forward, Rush will head up development on social games while Angle focuses on mobile. McWilliams confirms that iWin is still committed to its game show properties as far as Facebook is concerned, but her primary focus is on the developer’s original IP. “I can’t commit to social versions of Jewel Quest or Jojo’s Fashion Show, but I love our original IP and I can’t imagine that we wouldn’t pursue those brands in the social space because they’ve been so successful.”