Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

News Corp. Adds Making Fun to Social Games Group

Most of the big media companies have big stakes in digital games, except News Corp. But Rupert Murdoch’s company is trying to catch up–without spending a lot of money.

The latest move: News Corp. has acquired Making Fun, a one-year-old social games start-up, and will fold it into the gaming unit it started up earlier this year.

Sean Ryan, who is overseeing the games business, says he’ll put Making Fun’s talent to work building out a platform designed to support games on Facebook, Myspace, Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. The move comes six months after News Corp.’s first social games move, when it picked up game developer Irata Labs. (News Corp. also owns Dow Jones, which owns this site.)

Ryan wouldn’t disclose a price for the deal, but it’s likely a modest one, given that this is essentially an “acqhire” of Making Fun’s small team, particularly founders John Welch and Lee Crawford. Ryan will also pick up the Making Fun name. He’ll use it to brand his mini-division, which is attached to, but separate from, News Corp.’s IGN gaming review site.

Ryan says his first games will debut early next year on Facebook and Myspace, followed by ports to iPhone and Android.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus