Playdom Veterans Move On Into Mobile Startups

Six months after Disney acquired Playdom for up to $763 million, a host of senior executives and producers have already left to start new companies or join early-stage ones.

Notably, a couple of these are mobile gaming-related ideas. Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson’s Wild Needle Games just scooped up $2.5 million in funding from Shasta Ventures and Thompson himself. The plan is to build mobile games that really take advantage of the phone’s location awareness and “always-on connectivity” to social networks. Booyah’s MyTown might serve as a forerunner to what Wild Needle plans to ship.

There are others too. Craig Dos Santos, who headed up Playdom’s mobile games group, is working on an e-commerce project called Portable Cupcake out of Tapjoy headquarters in San Francisco. And while this isn’t a completely mobile dependent startup, former Playdom vice president of product Jesse Janosov has taken the chief executive role at FooMojo and is poaching others to join the virtual pets-focused company. FooPets has a number of virtual pet iPhone apps from Marmaduke Dog to Tuxedo Kitten.