Jam City (company)
|Industry||Video game industry|
Number of locations
|Chris DeWolfe, Colin Digiaro|
Number of employees
|500 (September 2016)|
Jam City is a Los Angeles-based mobile game developer. The company was founded in 2010 by MySpace co-founders Chris DeWolfe, Colin Digiaro, Aber Whitcomb and former 20th Century Fox executive Josh Yguado. The company has 50 million monthly users and 7 titles to date that have ranked in the 100 highest-grossing charts in the Apple App Store. Jam City has studios located in both California and South America.
Chris DeWolfe’s company, Platform G, acquired San Francisco-based social gaming platform MindJolt in March 2010 with Austin Ventures backing.
In April 2011, MindJolt doubled its staff (to 80) and added mobile games to its portfolio of web offerings by acquiring two companies, Social Gaming Network and Hallpass Media. Social Gaming Network had a strong mobile presence, as the creator of iPhone and Android games that had been downloaded 30 million times. Game portal Hallpass Media had a big web presence with four million monthly users of about 1500 web-based games.
MindJolt adopted a new name, Social Gaming Network (or SGN), in March 2012.
In June 2013, SGN acquired Mob Science, which was a Facebook games developer of "mid-core social games" and known for Legends: Rise of a Hero.
In December 2015, SGN acquired two companies, Fat Rascal and Kiwi, Inc.
The acquisition of TinyCo in July added 125 employees to SGN, bringing its total number to about 400. Mobile entertainment games that TinyCo had created included Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and Marvel Avengers Academy.
In September 2016, SGN rebranded itself as Jam City, Inc.
Most of the games Jam City produces are free-to-play and give users the option to make microtransaction purchases with real money to obtain more lives or add special skills in-game that allow them to advance further in it faster. Jam City's goals include long shelf life games that generate revenue for years. As of January 2017, two of Jam City’s largest hit games, Panda Pop and Cookie Jam, were growing every month and had been on the market for four years.
At the time of the September 2016 rebranding (from SGN to Jam City, Inc.), Jam City announced that they had obtained a license for the intellectual property necessary to develop a game based on Peanuts.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
On April 25, 2018, Jam City released Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a mobile game based on J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World franchise. Developed by Jam City in partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery is the first mobile game where players create their own character and experience life as a Hogwarts student. In the game, players customize their own personal avatar and can attend magic classes, learn spells, battle rivals, and embark on quests at Hogwarts. Several actors from the Harry Potter film series comprise the voice cast for the staff of Hogwarts in the game, including Dame Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Warwick Davis, Sally Mortemore, Gemma Jones, and Zoe Wanamaker. Over 3 million players pre-registered for the game before its launch, and within 24 hours of its release, it reached #1 in the free-to-play category in the Apple App Store and #10 in the top-grossing chart across all categories.
Cookie Jam, Jam City’s flagship game, is a match-3 puzzle game where players complete baking-themed puzzles in order to proceed to the next level. Cookie Jam was named Facebook's “Game of the Year” in 2014. On May 24, 2014, Jam City released the next game in the Cookie Jam franchise, Cookie Jam Blast, and announced that Cookie Jam had over 100 million downloads and 5 million daily active players worldwide.
Products and Collaborations
In December 2012, SGN launched its proprietary technology, MasterKey, which allowed them to develop a game once and then publish it across multiple platforms in less time than it would take to build on the varying platforms individually. MasterKey was described as being technology that "essentially works like a translator or convertor."
SGN partnered with Fox to create a game, Book of Life: Sugar Smash, that was based on Guillermo del Toro and Jorge Gutierrez’s animated film, The Book of Life released in October 2014. This was SGN’s first collaboration with a major Hollywood studio to simultaneously release a game and film.
In December 2014, SGN and Chinese internet technology company NetEase announced a partnership that enabled SGN’s game, Cookie Jam, to be distributed in China in early 2015. In contrast to the two major app stores in the US (iOS and Android), China has over a dozen.
South Korean mobile game company Netmarble was announced a $130 million investment in SGN in July 2015; this was one of the largest investments in mobile gaming since 2013. The investment made Netmarble the largest shareholder in SGN.
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