Three MySpace founders, including former CEO Chris DeWolfe, have acquired San Francisco-based casual/social gaming platform MindJolt, installing themselves as the studio's new heads and announcing plans to expand the platform's online footprint.
VC firm Austin Ventures partnered with DeWolfe, MySpace's former monetization head Colin Digiaro, and MySpace's former CTO Aber Whitcomb for the purchase. As part of the acquisition, DeWolfe's company Platform G renamed itself MindJolt, and two Austin Ventures partners joined the company's board.
MindJolt aggregates some 1,300 casual games from over 1,000 developers and distributes them through Facebook, MindJolt.com, MySpace, and other social sites. The company reaches more than 20 million monthly active users, which it retains through social features that developers can integrate into their titles.
The firm's new owners revealed three initiatives designed to extend MindJolt's online footprint: increasing game monetization through brand partnerships and virtual goods, extending MindJolt to "all relevant websites" and smartphones, and working closer with developers to create tools for their single- and multiplayer social games.
DeWolfe, who stepped down as CEO from MySpace last April as parent company News Corp. brought in new management, will serve as CEO for MindJolt. Digiaro and Whitcomb will take on the roles of chief operating officer and chief technology officer, respectively.
MindJolt founder Richard Fields will stay at the company as head of product strategy. Josh Yguado, whose previous roles include VP of Business Development of Fox Networks and strategic planner at MTV Networks/Nickelodeon, will act as senior vice president of Business and Corporate Development at the studio.
"MindJolt has quickly become an 'onramp' to the Internet for the world's independent game developers," says DeWolfe. "We're building out the company to become the next generation platform for game developers."
He adds, "Our goal is to make it even easier for developers to get their games noticed and make more money from their work. At the same time we will deliver the most social and viral gaming experiences to our millions of users everywhere."