John Welch, CEO of Making Fun, is bringing a more old-school publishing model to the mobile and social platforms. He and co-founder Lee Crawford are claiming it as the first full-service social games publishing company.

“There are lots of publishers in social, but what they really are is distribution networks,” said Welch. “We’re a publisher in the old-school kind of way. We fund projects, and we are very, very intimately involved creatively, presenting to the consumer a product that looks like it came from a big company. We take the passion and skills and creativity of an independent developer and package that in with our team where we provide things that only publishers can offer: scale, marketing firepower, the technology platform, financing, the expertise in doing casual game publishing for 12 years.”

The use of technology allows the company to stay small and communicate with developers everywhere. “There’s only about 20 people here. We’re mostly technical, though I guess I’m overhead,” said Welch. “We’re also trying to recognize that there are brilliant, passionate game designers around the world, not just in San Francisco.”

While they’re owned by News Corp, the global conglomerate promised to be hands-off. “News Corp is a loose federation of planets,” said Welch. “No one’s telling us what to do. They’re telling us to build a successful business. That’s an exciting place to be. There’s financial backing to help us grow.”

“We’re doing social and mobile today; I think in the future you’ll see those things coming together,” added Welch. “We’re technology agnostic; it’s really the core competency of the studio that we choose for any given project that matters. We’re not limited to or constrained or biased by what our bench has, in terms of ability.”

Story is a very important part of their first game Hidden Haunts and they’re looking to continue that with their future projects, which might include games based around TV shows on Fox and FX. “The narrative meta-structure, the sense of place, that seems to be missing from many social games. We’re starting to think about it in terms of seasons,” Welch said.

“In old school games where you made money at the point of sale, you need that narrative hook to keep them interested,” added Crawford. “People leave the grind of the average social game because they’ve used up all the content.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}