This week News Corp, parent company of the MySpace social network, acquired social game developer Irata Labs for an undisclosed sum. Irata Labs is the developer of the popular Twitter and Facebook game Spymaster and employs three people.
Irata Labs will not be incorporated into News Corp's MySpace division or its IGN gaming division, according to sources that spoke to the LA Times. Instead Irata Labs will continue to operate independently, though it may work with other News Corp divisions where it "makes sense."
Spymaster may not be Twitter's first social game, but it's the first breakout hit the young platform has produced. The game later spread to iPhone and Facebook so it could include virtual goods and begin to monetize. It even partnered with Super Rewards so it could provide ad offers to Twitter players.
It is not entirely clear why News Corp wished to acquire the company, if not to have them start building up MySpace's declining games platform or start monetizing some of IGN's traffic with social games. At one point Irata Labs built a Twitter commerce search product called iList that may factor in to News Corp's decision.
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