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Game Fetches Help for Humane Society

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 6:53am
Monica Alleven

If your New Year's resolutions include doing more charity work and having more fun, MindJolt SGN just might have the game for you.

The company is now offering the free Fluff Friends Rescue game for iOS in the App Store. It gives players the ability to operate and manage their own animal shelter; proceeds from the virtual goods that are sold for game play go toward The Humane Society of the United States.

Colin Digiaro, COO of MindJolt SGN, says the company believes it's one of the first if not the first to take a social cause and integrate it into a game from Day One, rather than taking an established game and adding a social component. "We wanted to bring the social cause to the forefront," he says.

It's the first game since the company acquired SGN last year that was conceived and developed by the company from the ground up. It took about three months from the initial pitch meeting to the final deployment of a publishable version. Android versions are in the works.

MindJolt's three main distribution avenues are Web, mobile and Facebook, which might seem a little ironic given its founders were part of the original team behind MySpace. But the founders feel they've achieved a fair amount of diversification for a mid-sized gaming company – not many companies in its space can make that claim.

And as far as defining Web, social and mobile, the lines are getting more blurred every day, and that's why it's critical to reach all of them now, Digiaro says.

Digiaro, who was involved in MySpace's first mobile deal with Helio, says MindJolt SNG has been cultivating its relationship with Amazon, where it has concentrated in terms of Android game distribution, in part because it's done a great job making it easy to purchase and download apps.

MindJolt is a much different company than it was 18 months ago, moving from being a distributor to owning its own studio and doing in-house analytics. Twelve months ago, almost its entire revenue was coming from ads; now, that represents probably 60 percent of its revenue and 40 percent is from the sale of virtual goods.

The company has seen 45 million mobile downloads and 75 million installs on Facebook. In December, MindJolt SGN launched three Android games exclusively on the Amazon Appstore, all of which went to the No. 1 spot: Night of the Living Dead Defense, Bird's the Word and Warp Dash. The company also has seen more than 12 of its titles in the Top 10 among iOS titles in the iTunes App Store.

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