Shawn Fanning’s New Company

Shawn Fanning has raised seed money for a social network for online gaming called Rupture, reports Heather Green of BusinessWeek (scroll down to third story). Fanning, creator of Napster, had most recently tried to make friends with the music industry through his startup Snocap. Rupture sounds a little more fun.

Green reports Rupture’s first focus will be World of Warcraft, where Fanning is an avid player:

Rupture taps into the game to automatically pull together character names, profiles, and resources, and publish them on a personalized site. Rupture will also pull together stats to create individual and guild rankings and provide a place for guilds to organize their playing. As Rupture tracks each member’s playing over time, these personalized profiles evolve. And players will be able to chat in groups or with other individuals and download other addons and game demos.

Rupture, whose investors include Ron Conway and Joi Ito, will be ad-supported.

Update: GigaOM resident gaming expert Wagner James Au says “If I’m reading it right, his service might run afoul of Warcraft’s terms of use:

2 C. You agree that you will not (i) modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of a World of Warcraft installation; (ii) create or use cheats, “mods”, and/or hacks, or any other third-party software designed to modify the World of Warcraft experience; (iii) use any third-party software that intercepts, “mines”, or otherwise collects information from or through World of Warcraft;

Update 2: TechCrunch reports a Rupture spokesperson says the product will comply with WoW’s terms of use. We’ll let you know if we get any more specific information than that.

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