×

SGN Changes Name to Jam City, Acquires Rights to Make ‘Peanuts’ Mobile Game

Mobile game developer SGN has changed its name to Jam City and announced plans to launch a casual game based on the “Peanuts” franchise.

The L.A.-based company, whose game titles include “Cookie Jam,” “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff” and “Marvel Avengers Academy,” acquired mobile-game rights to “Peanuts” from Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.

Jam City’s new name alludes to its popular “Cookie Jam” game, replacing SGN (which stood for “Social Gaming Network”). The company will increasingly focus on licensing Hollywood intellectual property to launch new games, with about half of the company’s titles moving forward to be based on established entertainment-industry IP, co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe said.

“The fastest platform for growing Hollywood IP is mobile games,” said DeWolfe.

Jam City’s “Peanuts” game, slated to launch in the first quarter of 2017, will be a free-to-play, casual puzzle game incorporating the beloved characters created by Schulz including Snoopy and Charlie Brown. The game will feature “Peanuts” storylines, audio and music to let players “engage with the Peanuts characters in a more active way than watching a TV show or movie,” DeWolfe said. “There’s a nostalgia factor for the older demographic, but it’s also resonating with millennials.”

In 2015, 20th Century Fox released “The Peanuts Movie,” which grossed $256 million at the box office worldwide, per Box Office Mojo.

Jam City now has about 500 employees, after its acquisition this summer of TinyCo (maker of ““Marvel Avengers Academy” and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff”). Jam City also has released “Book of Life: Sugar Smash,” based on 20th Century Fox’s feature film.

“Games can offer years of engagement and revenue for a film or TV show,” Rick Phillips, executive VP at Fox Digital Entertainment, said in a statement. “Chris and his team have done an exceptional job. They’ve already succeeded with two Fox-owned properties, ‘Family Guy’ and ‘Book of Life.’ We’re looking forward to what they do next — this time under their Jam City brand.”

The company last year received $130 million in funding from South Korea’s Netmarble Games, and DeWolfe said Jam City plans to launch an initial public offering at some point. According to DeWolfe, the company’s revenue has doubled every year for the last five years, with a projected run rate of more than $400 million in the next 12 months. Jam City says its games have been downloaded more than 800 million times and has nearly 50 million active players monthly.

Founded as SGN in 2010 by DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb — formerly co-founders of Myspace — and ex-20th Century Fox executive Josh Yguado, the company has studios in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Buenos Aires. Jam City’s competitors include Supercell (acquired by China’s Tencent), Activision Blizzard (which bought “Candy Crush” developer) King Digital), Rovio and Electronic Arts.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • homepod-white-shelf

    Apple Said to Prep Cheaper HomePod for 2020

    Apple is getting ready to introduce a cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker in 2020, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The company is also working on a new version of its AirPod headphones for next year, according to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The new version of the HomePod is said [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Lapse May Have Exposed Customer Credit Card Data

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, confirmed that a security issue may have exposed customers’ records online, including credit card info. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. News of the data breach was first reported Tuesday by TechCrunch, which alleged that [...]

  • Tycho weather app

    This Website Creates Spotify & Apple Music Playlists Based on Your Local Weather

    Electronica musician Tycho launched a clever promotional website for his new album “Weather” this week: Visitors of Tycho’s website can use a web app to generate a playlist based on their local weather. Playlists can be saved to both Spotify and Apple Music, and consist of 25 songs, both from Tycho’s catalog as well as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content