CrowdMob’s Mafia Location Game Harnesses Facebook Places to Drive Downloads

Even though Facebook likely has around 700 million users now, it actually isn’t often that we hear the social network is a major driver for user acquisition in mobile gaming — at least compared to FreeAppADay or having an inside connection to Apple.

But a veteran team from the social gaming world is trying to disprove this with its first app Mob Empire, a Foursquare-meets-Mafia Wars game. CrowdMob, which was co-founded by LOLapps’ former creative director Damon Grow, Alex Han and Matt Moore, is among a handful of startups that are trying to build location-enabled mobile games that are genuinely social.

The app, which the company has intentionally kept quiet about since its April 1 launch, pits friends and strangers against each other in a quest to gain control of venues in their city. The game has a modest number of users at the moment with just over 17,000 Facebook monthly actives on AppData, but that’s because the company hasn’t really publicized it to date. Grow said the company is focused on getting engagement of existing users up and ensuring the back-end can scale before marketing or promoting the title.

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