Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

MyYearbook Buys Five Android Apps in Mobile Gaming Push

The social network myYearbook has bought five Android apps and a social gaming engine, the company is announcing today. MyYearbook spent north of $1 million altogether for the apps, which have more than 5 million installs combined.

MyYearbook CEO Geoff Cook described the spoils of his acquisition spree–Toss It, Tic Tac Toe, SpringDroid, Minesweeper and Line of 4–as “fairly simple games.” The first two rank as some of Android’s top 30 free games of all time.

“The complexity lies in meeting people,” Cook said. “What interests us is not really the game mechanic itself, it’s the social layer under it.”

MyYearbook’s plan is to enable users to meet each other by playing games together, in part due to the multiplayer Android game engine FlockEngine, which myYearbook also recently acquired. A developer from FlockEngine and one from SpringDroid are joining myYearbook alongside the deals.

As of March, 33 percent of myYearbook visits came from mobile devices, up from 2 percent last January (before the company had any mobile apps or even a mobile Web site).

MyYearbook is profitable and says it has a $30 million run rate. The company launched a synchronous live gaming platform for the Web last year, which is similarly aimed at helping its 25 million registered users meet each other and play together. MyYearbook’s approach contrasts with the dominant social gaming trend of asynchronous games (like FarmVille on Facebook, where users play whenever they like).

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work