GameStop acquires stake in JOLT Online

8 Nov 2009

Irish entrepreneur Dylan Collins, who sold his games-software company Demonware to Activision two years ago for US$15 million, has scored another coup, this time global games-store franchise GameStop has made a major undisclosed investment in his internet games company, JOLT.

Collins, the entrepreneur who three years ago, at the age of 26, sold his Dublin-based technology company, DemonWare, to the world’s biggest computer-game firm, Activision, for $15 million, has built up JOLT Online to be one of the most pioneering free-to-play browser games firms on the planet.

A bit of JOLT’s background

JOLT, which employs 25 people in Dublin, Belfast, Germany and Bulgaria – earlier this year received international acclaim for striking a deal with Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire to bring out an online game called Playboy Manager that allows players to manage the careers of the magazine’s hottest models. This earned JOLT coverage in prestigious titles such as the The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, San José’s Mercury News and TechCrunch.

Playboy Manager is the latest in a number of global game releases from the games publisher, including Legends of Zork as part of a partnership with Activision.

According to sources, GameStop – one of the largest computer game retail giants in the world – has taken a considerable stake in JOLT and sees the rise of free-to-play browser games, where there are major opportunities in advertising and micro-payments, as an emerging market too hot to ignore.

Facts and figures

GameStop employs 48,000 people worldwide across 6,700 stores and last year achieved revenues of US$8.8 billion. The company runs two e-commerce websites, and, and also Game Informer magazine.

GameStop sees the acquisition of JOLT as a significant building block in its digital business strategy.

The plan, going forward, is to combine JOLT’s expertise as a successful publisher, developer and aggregator of browser-based games with GameStop’s multi-channel resources to capture new opportunities in gaming.

JOLT will continue to work with GameStop’s game publisher partners to create online game titles and brands that aren’t currently being exploited by publishers themselves.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years