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Jam City co-founder reflects on monetization lessons learned from MySpace

Chris DeWolfe, co-founder of both Jam City and MySpace, shares how his experiences with the former social media giant informed the decisions he made with Jam City's free-to-play games.
"It's a lot easier to figure out how to monetize the user later than it is to win back one who got upset because the game wasn't fun."

- Chris DeWolfe explains how Jam City has successfully tackled F2P monetization in an interview with Bloomberg.

DeWolfe, known for co-founding MySpace and, recently, mobile developer Jam City, sat down with Bloomberg recently to share his opinions on monetization as his company considers going public in the second half of 2017.

The interview is interesting for game developers in a number of ways, as it both contains some wisdom on F2P game development from a tech industry vet like DeWolf and also sheds some light on the revenue Jam City has been pulling from its library of mobile games.

As outlined in the interview, DeWolfe co-founded MySpace in 2003 and sold the company to News Corp for $580 million just three years later. The increasingly aggressive ad-based marketing that followed that sale quickly soured users of the social media site, and its popularity waned.

DeWolfe wants to ensure that a similar fate doesn’t befall his current company, Jam City. He explained to Bloomberg that he doesn’t want the ads in the developer’s free-to-play titles to bog down games, and is “going more slowly with an initiative to place ads” as a result.

And, judging by the numbers, DeWolfe’s philosophy seems to be working. In the interview, DeWolf disclosed that the nearly seven-year-old company earned about $400 million last year despite only one of its iOS games, Panda Pop, ranking among the top 30 highest grossing iPhone games in the US.

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