SGN Games Inc. is a Los Angeles-based mobile gaming platform with global reach.
Created in 2010 by former MySpace cofounders Chris DeWolfe and Aber Whitcomb along with former Fox executive Josh Yguado, its games have been downloaded more than 800 million times and are regularly played each month by nearly 50 million people, half of whom live outside the United States.
The maker of Cookie Jam, Panda Pop, Juice Jam, Genies & Gems and the Book of Life: Sugar Smash, SGN’s 400-person team is the creative force behind more than a dozen top grossing titles on Apple, Google and Amazon’s app stores. In 2014, its hit game, Cookie Jam, won Facebook’s “Game of the Year” award.
In addition to its portfolio of puzzle games, SGN’s TinyCo–its third acquisition since receiving a $130 million investment from South Korea’s Netmarble Games in 2015–is the creator of two immersive simulation games based on globally recognizable entertainment brands: Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff and Marvel Avengers Academy.
In addition to its Los Angeles headquarters, SGN has studios in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Buenos Aires.
Chris DeWolfe is the CEO and co-founder of SGN, the fastest growing major U.S. mobile games studio founded in 2010. As CEO, DeWolfe has built the company responsible for over a dozen top-10 titles on the iTunes Store. SGN has had more than 700 million installations of its games including Cookie Jam, which was also named Facebook’s Game of the Year. The company also received $130 million in a strategic partnership investment from Netmarble Games, the number one mobile games company in Korea, in July 2015.
Prior to SGN, DeWolfe was co-founder and CEO of MySpace, the social network that redefined the concept of socializing around shared interests. Under DeWolfe’s leadership, MySpace became the number one most trafficked site in the United States. At launch in 2003, MySpace attracted an average of 300,000 new members daily, but by the time he left the company in 2009, it had more than 130 million monthly active users globally. From 2005-2008, MySpace was the most visited social networking site in the world.
DeWolfe won the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in June 2015, and has been featured on the cover of Fortune magazine twice. He was also named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2006, chosen by Barbara Walters as one of her 10 Most Fascinating People for 2007, and won the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard Award in 2009. DeWolfe has a B.A. degree in Finance from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Southern California, where he was later honored as Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year (2006). DeWolfe served on the Board of Trustees for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Woven Digital, and the Board of Advisors for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC. He lives in Los Angeles.
As President, COO, and co-founder of SGN, Josh Yguado has overseen SGN’s growth into one of the largest and fastest growing mobile game developers in the world. Over the past three years, SGN games have been recognized as Apple and Google Best Games and in 2014, Cookie Jam won Facebook Game of the Year. The Company completed a $130 million strategic investment in July 2015.
SocalTECH named Yguado one of the top 50 people in the technology industry in Southern California in November 2015. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors at The Young Turks.
Before SGN, Yguado worked on launching and acquiring new businesses at Fox including MySpace, IGN and Hulu. Previously in his career, Yguado worked at MTV Networks and Univision. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School and lives in Los Angeles.
As CTO and co-founder of SGN, Aber Whitcomb oversees the cross-platform technology strategy and plays a key role in developing and operating SGN titles on a global scale. Whitcomb is a recognized expert in large scale computing, networking and storage and frequently speaks on these topics at industry events.
Prior to SGN, Whitcomb’s most recent role was CTO and co-founder of MySpace where he was responsible for the engineering and technical operations groups of one of the world’s most successful social networking sites. “InfoWorld” named Whitcomb as one of the “Top 25 CTOs of 2009″.
Whitcomb is a co-founder of i/o Ventures, an early stage startup program that focuses heavily on mentorship. He graduated from the University of Washington and was born and raised in Bellingham, WA.
As Senior Vice President of Business Development at SGN, Michael Ritter oversees all distribution, partnerships, licensing, and monetization.
Prior to SGN, Ritter was Founder and Publisher of Saturday Night Magazine, which he built into the largest circulated monthly collegiate lifestyle and entertainment magazine in the country. Services included event marketing, promotions and consulting for clients such as Geico Insurance, US Army, Playboy, Chegg, Fox, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. Ritter serves on the Board of Advisors of Ritter Pharmaceuticals, which is in the process of FDA clinical trials to be the first approved drug to treat lactose intolerance. He graduated from the University of Southern California and also received his MBA from USC.
Start-up founder, social media pioneer, music manager, and master negotiator, Josh Brooks has a proven track record in the media and tech space. Brooks currently oversees all marketing and brand strategy for SGN. Prior to SGN, he raised $1.6M in venture capital to launch On The Run Tech and partnered with Selena Gomez to launch the popular app, Postcard on the Run.
Earlier in his career, Brooks created the first integrated marketing team at MySpace, responsible for $22M in branded advertising revenue in his first year. He also produced the first and largest live streaming event for MySpace, in cooperation with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, which resulted in 3.5M live streams from Camp Behring, Kuwait (a.k.a. Operation MySpace). From 2001-2005, he managed the critically acclaimed and Grammy nominated band, Queens of the Stone Age. Prior to managing the band, he was a founding member of Fanscape.com, which was acquired by Omnicom in 2010.
Brooks was a Socal Tech Top 50 Winner in 2013 and received the Silicon Beach Wavemaker Award in 2011. He received a BFA in Media Arts from University of Arizona, and currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.
Jill Wilson is the creative leader of SGN’s game development, managing the direction of the company’s industry-leading games portfolio from concept through lifecycle. As employee #3 (after founding partners), Wilson was one of the leaders of the company’s original expansion into developing its own games, and has helped grow its production team into the mobile-social leader it is today.
Dubbed, the ‘Queen of Fun,’ Wilson is widely regarded as a leading female executive in the mobile games industry, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. In 2015, the National Diversity Council named her one of the Top 50 Women in Tech.
Prior to SGN, Jill was responsible for creating and distributing some of the world’s best-selling board games for company, Imagination Games. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California, and was born and raised in New York City.
As SVP of Game Operations, Matthew Casertano is responsible for oversight of the Marketing, Product Management and Game Analytics divisions. Casertano played a critical role in the rapid growth of SGN’s cross platform game portfolio, which includes successful titles Bingo Blingo, Panda Jam, Panda Pop and Cookie Jam.
Prior to his work at SGN, Casertano worked for Citigroup’s Emerging Markets Credit Trading group as an Assistant Vice President, where he oversaw operational and market risk.
Casertano holds a Bachelor of Arts and Humanities in History from University of Maryland, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He graduated with honors with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. In addition to his love of all things video games, he enjoys music, sports, reading and history. He was born in New York, NY and raised in Ridgewood, NJ.
Matt Pillar is an accomplished executive with 25 years of experience building, funding, and advising businesses in the United States and across Asia. As SVP of Corporate Development, he oversees SGN’s strategic planning, fundraising, and new M&A initiatives, among other activities.
Pillar has served as Founder and Managing Director at Fire Dragon Enterprises, a global advisory firm, and Founder and Managing Partner at Catalytic Capital, a boutique private equity firm. He has held senior operating and advisory roles at STAR TV, Pacific Century Group, and Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter and led more than US$1 billion in a range of investments on behalf of Vulcan Ventures, Catalytic Capital, and The Walt Disney Company.
Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Pillar serves as Senior Fellow with The Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University where he teaches a graduate course on “Doing Business in China.” He received a BA with Honors in East Asian Studies from Brown University and MBA with Honors from Harvard University.