Paramount pulls plug on ‘Scene It?’ maker Screenlife

Seattle’s Screenlife Games, maker of the “Scene It?” trivia games, is being closed by its owner, Paramount Pictures, according to the unofficial word trickling out of the company on Monday.

The company was founded in 2002 by Seattle entrepreneurs Craig Kinzer and Dave Long, starting with interactive DVD games based on movie trivia. The “Scene It?” brand had expanded to include mobile, tablet, web and console versions of trivia games covering a variety of pop culture topics.

Paramount acquired the company in 2008. Four years later, it appears that the movie studio was no longer willing to continue investing in Screenlife.

We left a series of messages with Screenlife executives and representatives throughout the day, seeking further details on the closure, but haven’t yet heard back. We’ll provide updates as we get them.

The closure was announced to employees on Monday. Screenlife is estimated to have employed around 40-50 people at the time of the announcement.

Steve Banfield, who was Screenlife’s senior vice president of digital strategy until last September, offers his personal perspective on the closure on his blog, along with lessons learned.

Banfield writes that Screenlife “was the victim of the same radical changes that all the media companies are facing,” as consumer shift away from DVDs and board games — the roots of the company’s business — to digital downloads, Facebook, mobile phones and tablets.

  • Ex-Screenlifer

    Correction: Not that it makes any difference, but the closure was announced to us on Tuesday 3/6, not Monday as stated above. We are all shocked and devastated by this news. Everyone at Screenlife was very optimistic about the new Star Wars Scene It? game, which may never see the light of day now… and it was going to be awesome.

    • lostfanmn

      Old news, but still makes me sad to this day every time I read it.