The founders of MySpace have announced that they will partner with Austin Ventures to acquire Mindjolt, one of the largest gaming portals on the web. Mindjolt has over 20 million monthly active unique players on its Facebook application and works by aggregating games created by independent and professional developers. Their game catalog has over 1,300 casual games, and Mindjolt is known in industry circles as being one of the first innovators in casual gaming.
There are three main goals of the acquisition. The first is to increase monetization through brand partnerships and virtual good offerings. We can expect that this means they will leverage their relationships from their days with MySpace to bring big brands to the great games available at Mindjolt. Seeing that MySpace was a very corporation and advertising friendly social network, and big brands advertised on the network even as it was failing, those same brands will be delighted to hear that they now have an opportunity to advertise on a 20 million player strong gaming network on Facebook.
The second goal is to expand Mindjolt’s presence to all relevant websites and smart phones. This means we’re going to see Mindjolt available on iPhone, Android and more, and they will all be emphasizing virtual goods and monetization. The final goal is to work closer with game developers to create tools for single and multiplayer social games. I’d expect that the expertise of the MySpace team will help to ensure that the Mindjolt tools available to game developers will now include more social features, like leaderboards, chat and buddy lists.
Regarding the acquisition, Chris Dewolfe had this to say:
“MindJolt has quickly become an “onramp” to the Internet for the world’s independent game developers,” said Chris, CEO of MindJolt and former CEO of MySpace. “We’re building out the company to become the next generation platform for game developers. 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”
The news is a big one that will reverberate around the game space. Mindjolt on Facebook had a slow and steady climb and is not a flash-in-the-pan type of application. The high quality of the games and the idea of a games portal within Facebook seem to resonate well with gamers, and the steady growth can only continue now that there will be an influx of expertise and advertising dollars into the system.
This is part of a bigger initiative for Chris DeWolfe. Last year, he began raising big rounds of capital and this seems to be his first move. He’s hired his old MySpace colleagues to help him with this project, which he houses under his new company, “Platform G”. We’ll see what’s next for Platform G in the months to come, and find out if the “G” stands only for games.