The rumor was going around since a few weeks, now it’s official: popular “iFunded” iPhone game developer ngmoco has been acquired by Japanese mobile giant DeNA. The deal was closed at around $400 million which, if I’m not mistaken, should be the biggest deal ever involving an iPhone developer. DeNA is Japan’s biggest and most successful “mobile social games” company, and from now on it’ll lead (e.g. pay for) the efforts of ngmoco in the western market.
Ngmoco will also start developing for the Android platform, a pretty unsurprising move considering the acquisition.
We’re also branching out beyond just iOS devices, introducing existing and new products to Android devices. We love iOS and our commitment there hasn’t diminished, we’re simply adding Android into the mix, bringing the very best titles from ngmoco, Freeverse, Miraphonic, Stump Town & our plus+ partners to these amazing devices.
DeNA runs a mobile social gaming platform in Japan called “Mobage Town” (which we hear is wildly popular over there) and it’s looking for a way to expand in the US and European market to become some sort of a “new Zynga”. The acquisition of ngmoco follows other minor deals with iPhone game developers in order to expand DeNA’s potential overseas.
As the NYT reports:
DeNA’s plan is to integrate its Mobage software with Ngmoco’s own social networking platform, called Plus+, which runs on Apple devices and smartphones that operate on Google’s Android system.
The new global platform will allow developers to aim for both Apple and Android users and gain access to both Western and Japanese customers, said Neil Young, the founder of Ngmoco — short for “next generation mobile company” — and a former executive at the U.S. game company Electronic Arts. Ngmoco’s games, including We Rule, Godfinger, Coin Push Frenzy and Flick Fishing, have been downloaded more than 60 million times on Apple iPhones and iPod Touches.
Good luck to ngmoco, DeNA and all the people who have been working on the amazing iPhone games ngmoco has published so far. Below you’ll find a video of ngmoco demoing “LiveFire” on stage at Apple’s keynote about iPhone OS 3.0. Good times.