The company, which builds games and other apps for social networks, has confirmed the deal to us and on Twitter (check out these tweets from Irata Labs CEO Chris Abad and co-founder and designer D. Keith Robinson). The terms were not disclosed.
The name Irata Labs doesn’t ring a bell, say you? Well, perhaps you’re familiar with their social game Spymaster, which started as a massive time-killer on Twitter and later expanded to the iPhone and Facebook.
Spymaster lets you run your own virtual spy ring across social networks and from your iPhone.
It gained notoriety for being one of the first games to really leverage the viral power of Twitter, but it also got a huge backlash from users when it started sending out direct messages en masse. Venturebeat’s Eric Eldon at the time joked that maybe they should rename the game “SpamMaster”.
Irata Labs is also behind iList, a nifty social classifieds service, and the company was also working on Flyvly, a platform that aimed to one day enable rapid development of location-based social games.
The LA Times reports that the company, which only has three full-time employees, will not be incorporated into either of News Corp.’s major online assets – MySpace or the game review site IGN. Instead, the developers are expected to work with those divisions whenever it makes sense, a person familiar with the matter told the paper.
Still according to the LA Times article, Irata Labs received angel funding from Veoh founder Dmitry Shapiro, entrepreneur Alex Bard and VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, although it’s unclear exactly how much was raised.
News Corp is the world’s largest media conglomerate company. News Corporation is a diversified global media company with operations in eight industry segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; magazines and inserts; newspapers and information services; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and Latin America. Fox Interactive Media (FIM) oversees News Corporation’s Internet business operations. News Corp’s subsidiaries include: MySpace Slingshot Labs WSJ.com
Spymaster is a new Twitter-based social game that is currently in private beta. Designed by Eston Bond, it is a side project of iList.
iList was a social classifieds service trying to take on Craigslist. It let you cross-post your listings on Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, and Pownce. It also tried to tap into your friends and contacts to get them to promote your listings to their friends. The site is no longer in service.