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MindJolt, the social game company headed by MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, has added a mobile veteran to its staff in a move to expand to mobile social games.
Ulf Waschbusch (pictured), who recently served as chief product officer of Garena, a company that runs electronic sports leagues and promotes video games, has joined the company to lead internal social mobile game development. He will lead the team under the Social Gaming Network studio, which MindJolt acquired in April.
DeWolfe is establishing a pretty robust team in order to take on other social gaming companies in the industry. He said in past interviews that he intends to do a “roll-up” in social games, and he is doing just that with these acquisitions. Tapping Waschbusch is likely part of that strategy in order to take on some of the bigger players in mobile social gaming — such as Zynga, which offers most of its social games on mobile devices like the iPhone.
DeWolfe resurfaced in March last year after selling MySpace to News Corp and acquiring San Francisco-based MindJolt with backing from Austin Ventures. With a number of his former MySpace executives at his side, DeWolfe now said he wants to expand the company’s 20-million user audience through acquisitions.
His team includes Colin Digiaro, chief operating officer and former head of monetization at Myspace; Aber Whitcomb, chief technology officer and former CTO of MySpace; Josh Yguado, senior vice president of business and corporate development and former vice president of business development at Fox Networks Group. Richard Fields, founder of MindJolt, is head of strategy.
There are already big rivals such as Electronic Arts’ Playfish division, Playdom, and Zynga. That’s why DeWolfe started with the acquisition of a company that had already amassed a large audience, he said. DeWolfe has said he wants to develop MindJolt as a social game company that caters to indie game developers.
MindJolt also acquired Hallpass Media, which has about 4 million monthly users and 1,500 web games, in April. SGN had around 30 million downloads on iPhone and Android mobile devices as of April. SGN was founded in 2008 and has raised $18 million from backers including Eric Schmidt of Google and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
MindJolt is a profitable company with more than $20 million in revenue and 20 million monthly users, according to a report by the New York Times. With the acquisitions, it has 80 employees.