Now that Chris DeWolfe has built a mobile game company with several of the 100 top grossing titles and $400 million in annualized revenue, he’s finally ready to change the brand.
Out with SGN. In with Jam City.
Formerly known as SGN, mobile gaming company Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe spoke with CNBC about their new name and a future IPO.
Until today mobile game company Jam City was known as SGN, the maker of mobile games such as ‘Cookie Jam’ and ‘Juice Jam.’ Company CEO Chris DeWolfe stopped by this afternoon’s CNBC “Power Lunch” to discuss the renaming and how the company is preparing for an eventual IPO.
SGN Games is gone and Jam City is here, as the mobile game company rebrands itself. The 500-person company with games include Cookie Jam, Panda Pop, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and Marvel Avengers Academy also announced that it has acquired rights to comic strip Peanuts, which will be released as a mobile game later this year.
Mobile game developer SGN has changed its name to Jam City and announced plans to launch a casual game based on the “Peanuts” franchise.
The L.A.-based company, whose game titles include “Cookie Jam,” “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff” and “Marvel Avengers Academy,” acquired mobile-game rights to “Peanuts” from Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.
SGN Games has changed its name to Jam City, and to celebrate its new direction, the Los Angeles company has acquired the rights to make games based on the Peanuts franchise.
The old paradigm is dead. Meet the new one: Gamertainment during the Co-founder and CEO of SGN: Chris DeWolfe’s talk at Casual Connect USA.
Chris DeWolfe, SGN’s chief executive officer and co-founder, discusses the company’s acquisition of TinyCo and the future of mobile gaming with Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson on “Bloomberg West.”
Gaming firm TinyCo is based in San Francisco, but its business is rooted in Hollywood.
Thanks to its Marvel superhero and “Family Guy” mobile games, the start-up has become a leader in its niche. And also an acquisition target.
In a move further consolidating the mobile-gaming sector, SGN has acquired Andreessen Horowitz-backed TinyCo, the mobile games developer whose titles built around Hollywood franchises include “Marvel Avengers Academy” and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.”
TinyCo marks SGN’s third acquisition since December. Former MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe’s Los Angeles-based gaming company SGN has acquired the mobile game maker TinyCo, the company announced on Tuesday.
The next slate of speakers include: Chris DeWolfe, chief executive of SGN, the social mobile casual game publisher. He was formerly cofounder and the chief executive of social network MySpace, which he ran from 2003 to 2009. When he left the company in 2009, it had more than 125 million monthly active users. With funding from Austin Ventures, he acquired social casual game publisher MindJolt. He also acquired SGN, HallPass Media, and Mob Science. Renamed as SGN, his company has 35 million monthly active users, 45 million mobile downloads, and more than 80 million installs on Facebook.
President of Cookie Jam publisher wants to broaden casual audience with quirky IP, better use of social features.
In the freemium business model, users pay nothing to download your app and are offered optional in-app purchases for premium features, additional content, or digital goods. Learn how developers across a range of categories approach using the freemium model in their apps.
ABCey Events paired with SGN to showcase their newest game Genies and Gems, and also had a great time bringing awareness to their biggest game Cookie Jam. Between the moments that brought laughs in between sessions and the surprising and exciting moments that changed an attendees day, a powerful question was also addressed to the gaming community, #WHYDOYOUPLAY?!
The Game Developers Conference is clearly the place for the games industry to get together and talk about all aspects of the business, but it can also be a place to actually market games. Yes, there are booths in the Expo designed to promote games to the assembled industry insiders, but in a bold move mobile/web game publisher SGN took to the streets to get some attention for its newest game, Genies & Gems.
Office design is key to a growing company. Inspiring spaces and unique perks help keep employees engaged and happy during their day-to-day, and their importance are exemplified within the tech industry. So what motivates executives’ crucial design decisions? We stepped inside the doors of Scopely, Dun & Bradstreet, Dollar Shave Club, SGN, Ticketmaster, and FabFitFun, Inc. to see how they crafted productive and positive working spaces
Los Angeles-based SGN intends to use Fat Rascal as the cornerstone for a Seattle-area outpost in hopes of expanding it into a major gaming studio.
USC may be best known for its Trojans football team, but it has a surprisingly deep list of graduates who left a strong footprint in the overall tech industry.
When Apple recently updated its TV box the re-design included a remote that also functions as a game controller. Apple isn’t trying to compete with powerful consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation. But, Apple is competing with Google and Amazon to attract a much bigger but different gaming audience. It’s a group of gamers who have no interest in buying a console, even though they enjoy video games. This audience plays games on their phones and tablets, such as “Cookie Jam,” where you try and match up cookies of different colors.
With titles such as Candy Crush, Fruit Ninja and Gummy Drop, the world of mobile games can seem overly sweet … and awfully similar. SGN is looking to move away from the pack a little bit with a new campaign for its “Cookie Jam” title launching this week.
Ken Jeong definitely knows how to make an entrance. In a breakout role in The Hangover, Jeong memorably leaps from a car trunk stark naked, madly flailing a crowbar. After that part, Jeong burst onto the comedy scene with a cast-member spot on NBC’s Community and turns in several blockbuster movies. So it’s only fitting that the doctor-turned-actor makes his appearance in a new commercial for smartphone game Cookie Jam by barging Kool-Aid man-style through a wall into a hair salon clad in a cookie costume.
Humor seems to be the prevailing trend in mobile gaming ads. The latest to show this is mobile game publisher SGN, which used comedian actor Ken Jeong from The Hangover films in its latest ad for its Cookie Jam match-3 mobile game.
Using $28 million in investment, former Myspace co-founder Chris DeWolfe has put together a successful little game company in Culver City with 200 employees and 500 million downloads of several casual-gaming hits such as “Cookie Jam” and “Book of Life.” But DeWolfe wants SGN counted among the five biggest mobile gaming companies in the world. Now, he has $130 million in the bank to go on an expansion binge.
Nowhere are mobile video games more popular — or lucrative — than in Asia. And now Asian companies are making big bets that they can spread some of their expertise in mobile gaming to the United States.
Social Gaming Network’s recently raised $130 million from Korean game developer Netmarble, and the company aims to use it to carve a bigger foothold in Asia, said CEO Chris DeWolfe, a co-founder of Myspace
Myspace founder Chris DeWolfe said he had one main reason that his mobile gaming company, SGN, took $130 million in new investment from Korea’s Netmarble Games. “If you are in gaming today, you need to think about things in a global way,” he said in an interview. “I don’t want to be a mid-tier player, so you have to make a bold move.”
SGN, a fast-growing developer of freemium mobile games like “Cookie Jam,” has banked $130 million from Netmarble Games, the top mobile-games publisher in South Korea.
Social games developer SGN announced today that it had accepted $130 million in funding from Netmarble Games, South Korea’s largest online game publisher.
Chris Case — a long-time writer on shows such as Spin City, Titus and Mad About You, who is exec producer on Yahoo’s new Sin City Saints – ended up with a very different writing assignment recently, punching up the story line, characters and emotional engagement of a new mobile game, Juice Jam, from SGN.
Make a mobile game that climbs near the top of the charts, and the dollars start flowing. In a big way. For proof, look no further than the booming business that’s fueling casual game developer SGN. The maker of such titles as “Cookie Jam” and “Panda Pop” is poised to almost triple revenue this year to about $280 million from $100 million in 2014, according to Josh Yguado, president and co-founder of the Los Angeles-based company.
Chris DeWolfe’s SGN (Social Gaming Network) experimented in this way, bringing together Hollywood and mobile games. The Beverly Hills based company recently partnered with Fox to launch “The Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” a mobile game companion to Fox’s feature film “The Book of Life,” an animated adventure comedy. This was the first simultaneous game-film release. SGN is also flirting with new and old media channels. And they have a deep enough war chest to do it.
This year, SGN budgeted $10 million for television spots and outdoor ads for its hit matching game “Cookie Jam” and another $10 million for other titles. Backed by $22 million in venture capital, SGN first tried TV with a $1-million eight-week campaign last fall. It came nearly a year after Chief Executive Chris DeWolfe saw the power of TV ads on a visit to Japan. Seeing bright and cheery TV ads for Japanese games in his Tokyo hotel room sent the former Myspace CEO’s mind wandering back to earlier in the day.
SGN, a mobile games studio, has hired entertainment marketer Josh Brooks — formerly head of marketing at Myspace — as senior VP of brand strategy and marketing with an eye toward striking game-development deals with studios, producers and celebrities. In joining SGN, Brooks has reunited with Chris DeWolfe, former CEO and co-founder of Myspace. According to DeWolfe, Brooks’ experience as a music manager and digital marketer will bring an entertainment-driven approach to SGN’s business development.
We make our games social so they’re more fun to play, says Chris DeWolfe, SGN founder, discussing how their China gaming strategy could help their new game “Cookie Jam” overtake Candy Crush.
In another example of West meets East in global gaming, SGN and NetEase have teamed up to publish SGN’s hit mobile game Cookie Jam in China. NetEase, a maker of online games that is shifting to mobile, will modify the game for the Chinese audience and publish it in mobile app stores in China. Cookie Jam has been a smash hit in the West on Facebook and mobile devices, and it is one of the reasons that SGN has grown to become the leading mobile puzzle game developer in the world, second only to Candy Crush Saga publisher King Digital Entertainment.
Since its launch nine months ago, “Cookie Jam” has climbed into the top 20 grossing games in Apple’s iOS and Google’s Play store, and was named Facebook’s game of the year for 2014. So what’s next for the skyrocketing game? China. SGN, the developer of the mobile puzzle game, is partnering withNetEase, a Chinese Internet and games service provider, to distribute “Cookie Jam” in the world’s most populated country, starting in early 2015.
Facebook is out with its annual roundup of the year’s top Facebook games, with one game taking the ultimate crown. Cookie Jam, a matching game launched by SGN last May, “swept all others” to become Facebook’s Game of the Year, the company announced Tuesday on its blog.
The social network has picked Cookie Jam, from developer SGN, as the standout social game of the year. Having launched in May, the game now has more than five million players online. “Cookie Jam has been an amazing success story. Users love it,” Facebook’s head of games partnerships, EMEA, Bob Slinn told the Guardian. “We now have 375 million people playing games with Facebook across different platforms every month. It’s a huge audience.”
Cookie Jam beat out other wildly popular games such as “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” “Klondike,” “Old Vegas Slots,” “League of Angels,” and “Sparta: War of Empires. Cookie Jam’s” dominance of the platform has been swift. The game only launched last May, yet rose to well over 5 million players on Facebook in a matter of months.
Former MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe, discusses the money being made on mobile games and his partnership with Fox to create a mobile game on the animated film, “The Book of Life.”
SGN CEO Chris DeWolfe discusses Hollywood’s move to digital games on “Bloomberg West.”
The Book of Life: Sugar Smash mobile game, which launched today, could become a model for movie-related titles going forward, with its potential to create years of income for Fox under its revenue-sharing deal with SGN Games, said SGN CEO Chris DeWolfe. The title is available on the iTunes Store and, soon, Google Play, and is compatible with the vast majority of smartphones and tablets currently in use.
With surging success in mobile gaming, DeWolfe has branched out into a new partnership with Fox to produce a mobile companion game that will be released simultaneously alongside the upcoming film “The Book of Life.” The deal is one of the first with a major studio. “The mobile gaming business has gotten so big that the top games can gross as much as a blockbuster movie,” DeWolfe said.
Developer and game publisher SGN launched its first collaboration with Fox Digital Entertainment, the mobile game release “Book of Life: Sugar Smash.” The game is tied to the upcoming “Book of Life,” an animated feature produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez. The film’s voice cast includes Channing Tatum, Zoë Saldana, Diego Luna, Ron Perlman, Ice Cube, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Placido Domingo, and Christina Applegate, many of whom are also featured voices in the game. The game and film will both be available on Oct. 17.
Mobile game publisher SGN is revealing today that it has partnered with Fox Digital Entertainment to create a mobile game based on the upcoming animated film The Book of Life. The Book of Life: Sugar Smash is a casual “match-3″ style game on iOS that is a companion to the comedy film, which debuts in theaters on Oct. 17. The game will likely launch on the same day that the film has its red carpet premiere on Oct. 12, said Chris DeWolfe, the chief executive of SGN, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Most tech companies have a marketing department and some form of analytics. After all, everyone wants more users and everyone wants to see how those users behave. Many times those departments can be isolated from each other. At SGN, we regard analytics as the lifeblood of our company. Almost every action a user takes in our games is logged and stored so we can review it later. We do this for the benefit of improving our games, making them more fun, and encouraging better monetization. So how does this help the marketing department?
Chris DeWolfe is known as one of the founders of LA tech: he has been in the scene since 1997 and in 2003 co-founded Myspace (where he later served as CEO). Now DeWolfe is driving more growth in LA tech as co-founder and CEO of social gaming company SGN. The 100-person company will be adding 20 more people to their team within the next four months. As he helps navigate SGN to the top, DeWolfe sat down with Built In LA to talk about SGN’s competitors, advertising plans and its fit into LA.
Chris DeWolfe, co-founder of My Space & SGN CEO, provides insight into the mobile gaming space and shares his thoughts on the model of King Digital Entertainment.
Chris DeWolfe has become an authority on mobile and social gaming. He became a social media pioneer when he founded MySpace. He sold that company to News Corp. in 2005, and in 2010, he got backing from Austin Ventures to buy the social gaming platform MindJolt. In 2011, the company purchased mobile gaming firm SGN and online gaming network Hallpass Media. SGN also bought game developer Mob Science, and the company is now making a wide variety of casual puzzle games across Facebook, iOS, Android, and Amazon. DeWolfe, who runs the company that has been renamed SGN, has a lot to say about mobile and social gaming, from the downside of Zynga’s collapse to the upside of Candy Crush Saga maker King’s rise. He hopes to score with the next big mobile hit, but in meantime, he is watching and learning as the mobile gaming industry evolves. And he hasn’t abandoned making social games on Facebook, as he still sees it as a great proving ground for new ideas.
Chris DeWolfe, best known as the co-founder and first CEO of Myspace, now spends his time at the frontline of social gaming with his company SGN, which has had successes with games like Panda Jam and Bingo Blingo. I caught up with him in Austin, Texas during SXSW earlier this month to find out how he plans to keep SGN from suffering the troubles faced in recent years by the likes of Zynga, and his views on the current social networking landscape – a far cry from the one he dominated with Myspace 10 years ago.
Chris DeWolfe has a few ideas of what makes a great game, and it starts with story. The founder of mobile gaming company SGN and co-founder of MySpace shared his thoughts at SXSW today.
Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom talk with Chris DeWolfe, CEO of SGN Games and former CEO and co-founder of MySpace, about the very big and very quickly evolving businesses of online video games and social media.
Social and mobile game developer SGN has announced the release of Panda Pop on iOS. A sequel to its popular Panda Jam (our review), Panda Pop sees players bursting bubbles to help Mama Panda rescue her babies from the evil Badboon.
Panda Jam was named one of Facebook’s games of the year for 2013.
SGN CEO Chris DeWolfe discusses gaming with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”
“It is hardly uncommon for founders and employees of successful companies to cash in their chips and go on to start other successful companies. Perhaps the best-known example is PayPal, the Web payment service whose leaders went on to found and invest in a bunch of other companies — YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, Tesla — and to earn the nickname the PayPal mafia. Recently, the alumni of another Internet company — a social network based in California — have generated an impressive number of spinoffs. But what is notable about these spinoffs is that they have been generated not by a spectacular success, like PayPal or Facebook, but by a distant also-ran: Myspace.”
“SGN, the social video game company led by Myspace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, says it plans to increase its staff by 30% over the next six months by adding 30 employees as Zynga Inc. sheds workers. The company, which produces casual games such as “Panda Jam” and “Bingo Blingo,” said it is expanding and trying to fill positions for software engineers and game developers as it attempts to create hits.”
“Next up for Austin Ventures: SGN. The Los Angeles-based social and mobile gaming company, run by MySpace co-founder and former CEO Chris DeWolfe, has been on a shopping spree since raising more than $25 million from Austin Ventures in March 2010.”
“As Zynga lets hundreds of employees go as part of a broader streamlining, mobile game developer SGN is waiting on the sidelines, strategically siphoning away the “Farmville” maker’s top talent. Having already inked four acquisitions, three-year-old SGN, which was Zynga’s exclusive original platform partner for mobile, is adding tiny teams of veteran creative developers to strategically build out its network of social games that already include Bingo Blingo and Panda Jam.”
“Christopher DeWolfe, chief executive officer of Social Gaming Network Inc., talks about his company’s acquisition of social-networking game company Mob Science and the outlook for growth of games on mobile platforms. He speaks with Jon Erlichman on Bloomberg Television’s Bloomberg West.”
“SGN, the social gaming company led by Myspace co-founder Chris DeWolfe, has acquired Carlsbad-based game developer Mob Science, the shop behind “Legends: Rise of a Hero,” the company said Thursday.The deal will add Mob Science’s 11 employees to SGN’s current 80-person staff, along with its portfolio of games, and increase its user base to 350 million from 300 million.”
“SGN (Social Gaming Network), a mobile and social game publisher and developer, announced today that it has acquired Mob Science, an independent developer. The deal includes Mob Science’s library of games, headlined by Legends: Rise of a Hero (pictured), which social-gaming giant Zynga had previously published. This acquisition adds approximately 50 million users to SGN’s network, which boasts 300 million game installs so far across multiple platforms.”
“Today’s generation of players have migrated online and gravitate toward games specifically crafted for mobile devices. MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe founded Los Angeles-based Social Gaming Network (SGN) in 2010 through a series of three strategic acquisitions. Each piece was acquired for what it offered the company as a whole.”
“While many game developers are searching for lightning in a bottle in the form of a single hit game that catches on among consumers, SGN founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe – the former co-founder of a little company called MySpace – thinks that his Los Angeles based company has developed a system, and an all-star team, that removes much of the uncertainty from this process.”
“What’s the key to success in the video game market today? We sat down earlier this month to talk with Josh Yguado, President of SGN (www.sgn.com), to learn more about the importance of being nimble in the game market, the company’s platform, and hear more about its recent move into real money gaming. SGN is the social and mobile gaming developer headed by former MySpace founder Chris Dewolfe.”
“For game companies, nirvana is being able to make a game that runs on a bunch of platforms. And social-mobile game publisher SGN believes it has just that with the announcement today of MasterKey.”
“While Zynga has had high-profile struggles to adapt to the rapid growth of mobile gaming, Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of the Social Gaming Network, said he’s found a solution — MasterKey, his company’s just-launched technology for cross-platform game development.”
“Social mobile developer SGN (formerly MindJolt) today announced Josh Yguado has been promoted to the position of president. Yguado is one of SGN’s co-founders, coming over from Fox as the company’s Vice President of Business Development. During his time at Fox, he was involved with the acquisition of Myspace and Hulu’s launch. Previously, he headed up SGN’s game development efforts. So far, he’s been responsible for SGN’s titles like Panda Jam, Jewels of the Amazon and Bingo Blingo.”
“Social game developer SGN teamed up with Philippe Cousteau (yes, that Cousteau) nonprofit Earth Echo International today to launch an update to its popular Rescue Reef game that enables gamers to donate to EarthEcho while saving endangered species within the game. It’s nowhere near the first time a game has attempted to educate players, push social or environmental responsibility, or even raise funds for charity, but it is one of the few successful examples.”
“Not all video games need to be mindless distractions, at least if SGN has anything to say about it. The Los Angeles social and mobile gaming studio is betting that not only can games be both fun and educational, but through recent strategics partnerships, charitable as well.”
“Chris DeWolfe co-founded Facebook forerunner MySpace in 2003, and in his six years there said he learned a lot that’s helping him with his latest company. News Corp. (NWS) bought Los Angeles-based MySpace, soon to be overtaken by Facebook (FB), in 2005. DeWolfe stepped down as MySpace CEO in early 2009. His newest business is Social Gaming Network, a developer and publisher of games on Facebook, Google’s (GOOG) Android and Apple’s (AAPL) iOS platform. DeWolfe recently spoke with IBD about his startup and his time at MySpace.”
“Another popular Facebook game gets formatted for iOS, as SGN announced today that Panda Jam is in the Apple App Store. The iOS launch makes Panda Jam a cross-platform game, allowing players to leave off and pick up their games from multiple devices. According to AppData, Panda Jam has 1.5 million monthly active users on Facebook.”
“From the days of MySpace, later MindJolt and to today as SGN (or Social Gaming Network), it’s been a wild ride for the creators of Facebook games like Jewels of the Amazon and Panda Jam. Ever since MindJolt purchased SGN and took the name for its own, SGN has worked on transitioning into a cross-platform game company.”
“Panda Jam is a new Facebook puzzle game from SGN. Panda Jam distinguishes itself from numerous similar puzzle titles through a small but effective twist on the basic gameplay.”
“SGN — previously known as MindJolt — had six games on this week’s list. Both Dots II and King of Sweden gained 20,000 MAU for 33 percent increases. Advansnake snagged 10,000 MAU for a 100 percent gain. Bowman shot up by 10,000 MAU for a 25 percent increase. CarChaos also grew by 10,000 MAU, but it increased by 20 percent. Finally, Conveyor moved forward by 10,000 MAU for a 20 percent gain.”
“Founder of MySpace, Chris DeWolfe, now Chief Executive Officer of SGN, was interviewed by Paul Bricault, a Venture Partner at Greycroft Partners.”
“After merging the strategic acquisitions of a two-year shopping expedition, SGN’s Chris DeWolfe is poised to have his company’s games available to play wherever consumers happen to be and on whatever device they choose to use.”
“Michael Ritter, senior vice president Licensing & Distribution at Social Gaming Network said in Amazon’s blog post that the fact that Amazon has millions of customer accounts and has a very simple check-out system encourages in-app purchases.”
“See Chris discuss the lessons he learned after selling Myspace to NewsCorp, why Zynga and Facebook could start to lose anedge post-IPO, SGN’s huge female following, and more.”
“Speaking at Austin’s SXSW Interactive in a session the future of game development, DeWolfe said that his new company is “betting on Android in a big way.””
“DeWolfe says SGN can now achieve the coveted goal of being able to “develop once and publish anywhere.”
“The deals diversify us in a huge way, and it positions us very well for the future, in terms of the growth of the smartphone market,” Mr. DeWolfe said.
“This three-pillar approach enables MindJolt to deliver our games wherever people choose to play, and differentiates our service from others in this space.”