Playdom Veterans Move On Into Mobile Startups

Interesting to see some of the veterans form the world of social gaming now moving into the mobile space

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.


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