Monday, October 19, 2009

Will de Masi & Kranzler Finally Get Hands-On To Realize It's Potential? is reporting, and the company's website is confirming, that Hands-On Mobile's President (and former Monstermob wunderkind) Niccolo de Masi has taken over as CEO of the San Francisco based mobile games publisher, replacing David White. I've also heard rumors recently that Dan Kranzler, who founded the company back in 2001 (when it was known as Mforma), may be planning to take a more active role in its management, after years of being a very passive Executive Chairman (and peacing out with the Dalai Lama).

Does this mean there's a massive restructuring in the works? Hopefully... because Hands-On, the poster child for unrealized potential in mobile entertainment, is long overdue for a shake up. This is a company that raised $63mil in venture funding in 2004, was on an IPO path in 2005, was an early content rockstar in China and at various times over its 5 year history has employed some of the smartest folks in mobile and controlled some of the most powerful brands in gaming (Marvel, Guitar Hero, World Poker Tour, etc.). Hands-On could have been, should have been, a global mobile gaming powerhouse like Gameloft or EA Mobile, but instead in 2009 they're a tertiary player that doesn't even make my Top 10 Mobile Games Publisher list.

So what's to do? According to PocketGamer they've been diversifying into platforms like PSP Minis, DSiWare, Facebook games and, get this, iPhone (where they currently have 8 Paid Apps, none in the Top 100)... hmm, but that sounds like what all the other kids are doing. Perhaps they should be really alternative and focus on the carrier business... oh, and while they're at it change the company name back to Mforma (which is cooler and more potential-ly). We'll see. Let's just hope the re-emergence is in process, the rumors about Kranzler are true and that he and de Masi have a few more rabbits (and a bunch of cash) in their hats.


  1. no vision, no money, no team, no content => cannot work.

  2. Dan Kranzler=>incompetent maniac, cannot work

  3. Niccolo De Masi is a genius in his field... very agressive... and can make the company big time not to mention he is a young hot stude!