By James Brightman
Media giant News Corp. is dipping its toe into the gaming waters, but not with triple-A console games (an area that many conglomerates, such as Viacom and Disney, have been backing away from). Instead, News Corp.’s Making Fun division will go after the booming social games space.
The official publishing division of News Corp. Digital Media Group, led by former PlayFirst co-founder John Welch (famous for Diner Dash) and Twofish co-founder Lee Crawford, will “commission independent game studios to develop innovative, high-quality social games.” Making Fun will seek to distribute the games on social network web sites, smartphones, tablets and more.
Making Fun is calling itself the “first full-service publisher in the social games category,” and aims to provide indies with “a wide range of services including capital, technology and industry expertise to create, operate and market social games across digital platforms.” Making Fun said that the idea of full service really is just that; it’s not simply distribution. Making Fun will provide developers with “capital for both initial and ongoing product development as well as a partner committed to live operations, customer support, marketing and franchise development.”
“As gaming platforms mature, publishers emerge to assist talented developers who lack sufficient funds to bring their dreams to full fruition,” said Welch. “Explosive growth in the social games space has attracted substantial game development talent, raising the costs to effectively compete. Making Fun provides funding and other essential services to enable our partners to focus their energy on making great games.”
Making Fun said that it currently has three publishing deals signed, and the first titles will be launching this summer.