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Playdom联合创始人里克·汤普森成立新公司Wild Needle

发布时间:2011-01-12 17:30:24 Tags:,,,

Playdom公司董事长及联合创始人里克·汤普森(Rick Thompson)最近又创办了一家新游戏公司Wild Needle,主要业务发方向是基于地理定位的手机社交游戏。

Wild Needle Games-website

Wild Needle Games-website

过去人们普遍认为,向Facebook社交游戏公司投资是桩极划算的交易,但汤普森却另有想法,他认为手机游戏领域会有更大的市场潜力。Wild Needle这家新公司目前共有6名成员,将专注于iPhone平台的游戏开发,也会向其他手机平台进军。

虽然日本DeNA斥资4.03亿美元收购Ngmoco一事再次证明,“手机平台优先策略”的确收益可观,但汤普森表示他并不打算寻求类似的商机。他认为,Zynga已经称霸Facebook平台,Facebook又关闭了病毒式传播渠道,所以初创小企业已经很难在Facebook上立足。

Wild Needle位于美国加州山景城,目前已通过汤普森和Shasta Ventures公司融资250万美元。不过汤普森表示自己并不缺成立公司的这笔钱,而是需要Shasta Ventures的常务董事Robert Coneybeer加入Wild Needle的董事会。游戏邦获知,Wild Needle的其他高管还包括产品副总裁海蒂·卡森(Heidi Carson)、工程管理副总裁Chris Kirmse(游戏开发老将,曾任职于Xfire公司,是世界首款3D MMO游戏《Meridian 59》的联合开发者之一),除此之外,汤普森还邀请在线广告平台Flycast和Adify的成员加盟Wild Needle。

汤普森表示,因为手机具有地理定位功能、随时随地可登陆社交网站、游戏发行成本更低等优势,再加上智能手机覆盖率的快速上升,手机游戏这一领域还有大量潜力有待挖掘。他认为,Facebook的游戏发行成本太高,而且又关闭了病毒式营销渠道,这对初创小企业来说是个不小的挑战。据游戏邦了解,他还投资支持了包括Funzio在内的一些Facebook游戏公司。

虽然Wild Needle目前急需人手,正加紧招兵买马,但汤普森表示Playdom另一名创始人及现任CEO约翰·普莱曾(John Pleasants)仍将为迪士尼效力,不会加入Wild Needle的阵营。他还透露,Wild Needle的第一款游戏将锁定女性玩家,游戏玩法设置会很时尚,认为除了Foursquare、Gowalla和Booyah这三家基于地理定位的游戏公司之外,Wild Needle尚无其他直接竞争对手。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,转载请注明来源:游戏邦)

Playdom co-founder starts Wild Needle to focus on social mobile games

Rick Thompson is hoping that lightning strikes another time. Thompson was the chairman and co-founder of Playdom, the social game company that Disney bought last year for as much as $763 million.

Now he has started a new game company, Wild Needle, focused on social games with a location twist.

“Wild Needle represents a shift in the way smart money is thinking of social games,” Thompson said in an interview.

It used to be smart to invest in a game company making social games for Facebook. But Thompson is putting money on the idea that mobile is becoming a larger opportunity. His six-person company will focus on making games for the iPhone and then expand to other mobile platforms. Japan’s DeNA validated this “mobile first” strategy when it bought iPhone game publisher Ngmoco earlier this year for $403 million.

Thompson said he isn’t looking for a similar transaction anytime soon. But because of Zynga’s dominance and Facebook’s crackdown on viral distribution, he doubts that small startups can make an impact on Facebook.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Wild Needle has raised $2.5 million in funding from Thompson and Shasta Ventures. Thompson said that he didn’t need the money to start the company, but he did want access to Shasta’s managing director, Robert Coneybeer, who is joining Wild Needle’s board. Wild Needle’s other top executives include Heidi Carson (vice president of product), Chris Kirmse (vice president of engineering), and Minglei Xu (software architect). Thompson also was founding chairman of online ad networks Flycast and Adify. Kirmse is a veteran game developer who worked at Xfire and was the co-creator of Meridian 59, the world’s first 3D massively multiplayer online game.

Thompson said that there is enormous untapped potential in mobile games that use a device’s location awareness and its always-on connectivity to a social network. Mobile games have lower distribution costs and potentially new kinds of game play around location awareness. Smartphones are also likely to be ubiquitous.

“Things go in cycles,” Thompson said. “Facebook is very challenging for startups now because of high-distribution costs and lack of virality. He said he has investments in a couple of Facebook game companies, one of which is Funzio.

Thompson said Wild Needle is aggressively hiring now. Dan Yue, co-founder of Playdom, and John Pleasants, who was CEO of Playdom, remain at Disney. Thompson said the company’s first game will be targeted at women and feature cool game play. He said he doesn’t think he has direct rivals, but other location-based game companies include Foursquare, Gowalla and Booyah.(source:venturebeat)


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