Trip Hawkins, the CEO of mobile gaming company Digital Chocolate and founder of Electronic Arts, said to me awhile ago that he has worked on growing Digital Chocolate slowly, looking to avoid some of the pitfalls of his past investments–remember 3DO, his game hardware idea, that rose fast and fell equally hard?
Yesterday it was reported that Digital Chocolate raised another $18.03 million in funding, bringing the company’s total to around $40 million, from investors like Bridgescale Partners, Outlook Ventures, Montagu Newhall Associates, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures. So it looks like “D-Choc,” as the employees like to call the company, might start growing a little more quickly now.
Digital Chocolate and the company confirmed that there was some sort of funding they plan to talk about in the future, though they said that the stories in the media weren’t entirely accurate. (“18.3 million” sounds pretty specific to me, like the report was based on an SEC filing?) Since they didn’t elaborate on what wasn’t entirely accurate, we’ll have to wait for their cue.
Digital Chocolate’s strategy has been a bit different from the other mobile game companies. Hawkins is trying to create what he calls “social content” instead of traditional mobile games like Tetris on a cell phone. While a lot of the company’s current games are still more classic mobile content like card games, the company also has community-based games like The Hook Up, an avatar-based dating game, and MLSN Sports Picks, which is a fantasy-style sports league. Hopefully the funding will help the company build more of these social network games, which could end up being really viral, with the right game.