News Corp. [[NWS]] has acquired Irata Labs , a San Francisco social games developer that builds games and other applications for social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Irata is best known for creating Spymaster, an espionage game that lets players use Twitter to perform cloak-and-dagger activities, such as ordering assassinations, securing a safe house or buying items on the black market.

The other is iList Micro, which lets users turn Twitter into a classifieds section, allowing them to look for things to buy according to ZIP code or product type.

The LA Times  reports that Irata’s biggest success to date is social-network themed outing Spymaster, which gained plenty of attention thanks to its use of Twitter. A source close to the deal told the paper.

“The fact they built a social classified offering, iList, then they built a Twitter game – these guys have shown they can be mold-breakers with great product. And that’s what we care about.”

News Corp’s media empire is wide-reaching, including leading brands such as UK newspapers The Sun and The Times, book publisher HarperCollins, US media giants The Wall Street Journal, 20th Century Fox and Fox TV network as well as UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB and former social gaming leader MySpace.

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