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Mob Wars

Mob Wars is a very popular Facebook application with 2,421,346 active users as of December 31, 2008. The game was originally created by David Maestri while an employee of Freewebs, under the pseudonym Jason Gilbert. Despite misprints in many articles, Maestri never was an employee of SGN, however, Freewebs did spawn off a company called SGN (Social Gaming Network) 4 months after Maestri resigned from the company. (http://venturebeat.com/2008/08/26/mob-wars-the-million-dollar-a-month-independent-facebook-app-may-legally-belong-to-sgn/)

In the Mob Wars game, a would-be mafioso starts off as a petty thief and must work his way to the top of the crime chain, earning points by fighting opposing gangsters, doing jobs, robbing stores and casinos and exploiting underlings. The player can improve his character by spending these points on better guns, real estate, loyalty and more, and while he could spend an eternity building up enough points to become a serious baller, he can also spend real cash to jumpstart the process.

The game has spawned a number of clones and was the subject of litigation between SGN, Maestri and Psycho Monkey, Maestri’s company. That litigation was settled in December 2008.

Almost immediately upon settling the case with SGN, Maestri proceeded to sue the two largest companies in the social gaming space, Playdom and Zynga, for copyright infringement. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/14/mob-wars-creator-sues-zynga-for-copyright-infringement/)

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Last Edited 7/27/09

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