Chris DeWolfe leaps to Platform G, scores MindJolt
Chris DeWolfe, the former chief executive of MySpace, is dropping his quarters into a new business: games.
DeWolfe, who was ousted in April from MySpace after clashing with its owner, News Corp., said he has teamed up with Austin Ventures to acquire MindJolt, a publisher of simple games for social networks, including MySpace.
Games on social networks have taken off as millions of people connect with their friends by playing poker or a number of virtual world games such as Farmville. Based in San Francisco, MindJolt boasts a catalog of 1,300 games.
DeWolfe, whose new company is called Platform G, said he plans to pump up MindJolt's revenue by selling virtual goods, take its games to smart phones such as the iPhone, and rev up the company's technology to allow for more complex social games.
Joining him on his new endeavor are MySpace alumni Colin Digiaro and Aber Whitcomb. Digiaro headed MySpace's "monetization" efforts, and Whitcomb was its chief technology officer.
The three are diving into a crowded space inhabited by much bigger players, including Playfish, which recently was acquired by Electronic Arts for $300 million, and Zynga, whose games dominate Facebook and MySpace. Zynga's biggest title, Farmville, attracts 31 million players a day on Facebook. MindJolt, on the other hand, counts 20 million players a month across all of its titles.
-- Alex Pham
Photo: Chris DeWolfe in Los Angeles in April. Credit: Matt Sayles /Associated Press