MindJolt, a social game company headed by MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, has launched its first its first social gaming project built by a company it acquired in April.
The company has released “Mini Café,” a social game built for the iPhone, iPad and iPhone Touch. The game basically revolves around running a restaurant and keeping customers satisfied to increase the restaurant’s reputation. Mini Café players can invite their Facebook friends to their restaurants and “treat them like celebrities” to earn a better reputation. That reputation helps them advance in the game faster by bringing in more customers.
MindJolt acquired the Social Gaming Network (SGN) game studio as part of DeWolfe’s strategy to do a “roll-up” in social game. DeWolfe resurfaced in March last year after selling MySpace to News Corp and acquiring San Francisco-based MindJolt with backing from Austin Ventures. The company acquired both SGN and Hallpass Media in April. It’s a strategy frequently employed by social gaming company Zynga, which bought 12 companies in 12 months thanks to its huge user base of more than 250 million people.
DeWolfe 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.
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.
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. Hallpass Media has about 4 million monthly users and 1,500 web games.
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.
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