Office Hours: Jam City’s Josh Yguado and the Future of Gaming and the Blockchain

Spencer Rascoff

Spencer Rascoff serves as executive chairman of dot.LA. He is an entrepreneur and company leader who co-founded Zillow, Hotwire, dot.LA, Pacaso and Supernova, and who served as Zillow's CEO for a decade. During Spencer's time as CEO, Zillow won dozens of "best places to work" awards as it grew to over 4,500 employees, $3 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization. Prior to Zillow, Spencer co-founded and was VP Corporate Development of Hotwire, which was sold to Expedia for $685 million in 2003. Through his startup studio and venture capital firm, 75 & Sunny, Spencer is an active angel investor in over 100 companies and is incubating several more.

Jam City’s Josh Yguado

In this fireside chat with dot.LA and Pacaso co-founder and chair Spencer Rascoff, Jam City President and co-founder Josh Yguado explores what the acquisition of Ludia means for the future of Jam City and the future of mobile gaming.

Jam City is behind some of the world's most well-known mobile games including several for the "Jurassic Park" and "Harry Potter" franchises, among others. Its recent acquisition of Ludia bolsters its global portfolio of top studios that develop and publish top-grossing games.


Yguado says one of the most important ways to build trust with their brand is by taking care of the fans. The company relies on third-party intellectual property but also makes sure there's a slew of original games coming in.

"If we're creating something that's going to last not a couple years, but five, 10, 15 years. They want someone who's thinking ahead about where gaming is going to be," says Yguado.

People spend more time playing video games than they do watching TV or being on Facebook, according to Yguado. He capitalized on the fact that when people love something like a Marvel movie, they want to spend more time in that world.

As gaming embraces NFTs and other digital collectibles, fans could go beyond collecting digital tokens and in-game items. Soon, players will be investing in their games themselves.

"People are going to be able to collect resources, buy them and sell them, but also use them in ways give them to friends share them, I think, how we transact how we live are going to be driven by NFTs in ways we can't even imagine right now," said Yguado.

Also in this episode, Yguado discusses what it means to be at the intersection of traditional entertainment and mobile gaming and why L.A. is the perfect place for this work.

Want to hear more episodes? Subscribe to Office Hours on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio or wherever you get your podcasts.

dot.LA Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

Jam City is a investor in dot.LA.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Behind Her Empire: AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy On Redefining Success and Embracing Identity

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

AAVRANI Co-Founder Rooshy Roy
Photo courtesy of AAVRANI

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Rooshy Roy said, as the only Indian girl in school, she spent a lot of time feeling like an outsider and like she wasn’t meeting others’ expectations of “how an Indian girl should behave.”

Flash forward 20 years, and the differences Roy was once ashamed of are now the inspiration for her skincare company.

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