So what's next for the skyrocketing game? China.
SGN, the developer of the mobile puzzle game, is partnering with NetEase, a Chinese Internet and games service provider, to distribute "Cookie Jam" in the world's most populated country, starting in early 2015.
"We talked to a half dozen folks in China and got really comfortable with NetEase in terms of its distribution and ability to navigate the market," said Chris DeWolfe, chief executive officer of SGN (which stand for Social Gaming Network), in Los Angeles. "China is the fastest-growing country in the world in terms of mobile revenue and mobile game revenue. To have a big footprint in China is super important."
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For DeWolfe, who previously co-founded MySpace, it's the next step in attempting to create a sustainable company in the highly fickle universe of mobile and social games. Remember Zynga's struggle to move from Facebook to smartphones? Or when "Angry Birds" was the hottest thing on the planet? Creating a portfolio of successful games on a diversity of platforms across the globe is no easy feat.
"Cookie Jam" follows a formula that's familiar to anyone who's been addicted to a casual matching game. Like "Candy Crush" or "Bejeweled," the idea is to match like items to get through stages, a task that gets more challenging as you progress. In "Cookie Jam," the theme is—surprise surprise—desserts. Players are asked to match up the ingredients that go into a recipe for a type of cake or cookie.
If unable to complete the recipe within the free game, users can pay inside the app to advance. The combination of a ton of users —"Cookie Jam" has 5 million on Facebook alone—and the right pricing scheme can lead to a booming business. In naming "Cookie Jam" its game of the year last week, Facebook said, "This colorful matching game proved that the genre is far from over for Facebook."