Shawn Fanning, best known for founding Napster, has a new job. He will be working at Electronic Arts, which is about to buy his social-network-gaming startup Rupture for $30 million, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. His co-founder Jon Baudanza will also join Electronic Arts. We first heard of a possible deal back in February, but did not know who was the buyer. Rupture’s first product was a social network for players of the online video game World of Warcraft, but it only came out with a beta version and kept delaying its public launch.
Electronic Arts is buying the company for its technology, since it doesn’t have a lot of users (it was only ever in beta) and never launched the second version of its service. Presumably, creating social networks around massively multiplayer video games is a key component of its online strategy. The company has not yet officially announced the acquisition, but it is expected to do so soon. [Update: The closing of the deal is imminent, but there are still some papers to sign].
I’m glad that he has finally hit pay dirt. He changed the world, IMHO for the better.