iPhone game dev bought for $400 million

Japanese social gaming company DeNA scoops up Ngmoco, home of ex-EALA head Neil Young and former Sega of America president Simon Jeffery.

Any doubt that there is big money in iPhone games was dispelled today. That's when Japanese social gaming giant DeNA announced it was buying San Francisco-based developer Ngmoco for $300 million in cash and securities. Under the terms of the deal, Ngmoco shareholders will be entitled to up to another $100 million should the company hit unspecified performance targets by the end of 2011.

iPhone games are now officially big business.

Ngmoco was founded in 2008 by several game-industry veterans, including ex-EALA and current Ngmoco CEO Neil Young. Last June, the company hired away Sega of America president Simon Jeffery to be its president. Its games, which it claims are played 50 million minutes per day, include the casual titles GodFinger and We City. The company also claims to have had over 60 million downloads from its game portfolio, which has 20 titles that have made the App Store's top 10 list.

Ngmoco also claims to have over 13.5 million registered users on its Plus+ social network, which DeNA will be seeking to leverage. The company is aiming to use its new subsidiary to bring its popular Mobage mobile gaming platform to Western audiences. DeNA announced it is hoping to combine Mobage and Ngmoco's smartphone tools into a single standard, the Unifed Mobage Smartphone Platform, for both iOS and Android devices.

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Discussion

29 comments
Gooshnads
Gooshnads

@ToTs_00 Well blow me down... Holy crap lol

Valen_Ca
Valen_Ca

"ex-EALA head Neil Young" , man singer/songwriter and head of videogame developer? Is there anything that man can't do? *Get's pulled off to the side and someone whispers in ear*.....what do you mean they aren't the same person?

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

@Einhanderkiller Well, I guess I stand corrected. Even so, 750MHz > 333MHz.

Einhanderkiller
Einhanderkiller

@tehepicpwnzor Yes, that's what I said. The Apple A4 is used in the iPhone 4, but it does not run at 1 GHz. Apple has only ever specified the clock speed of the A4 in the iPad which is 1 GHz; when they unveiled the iPhone 4, they only said it had an A4 processor and didn't mention anything about frequency. People estimate the clock speed to be around 700 - 800 MHz, which makes sense as the iPad is faster than the iPhone 4 in benchmarks. I just don't want the misconception that the iPhone 4 and new iPod Touch run at 1 GHz to spread around, as it is false.

cameio
cameio

ok i read Sega so i thought somthing Sega gonna make otherwise i don't care about itrash or i whatever it's not a game device it's a phone with simple games just like the other phones please just don't compare it with other game devices and remove it from here, the idea of comparing it with PSP or DS is Hilarious huh!

Octopii
Octopii

This iPhone gaming business is starting to get really big. *hint hint invest more*

KERNELPOTTER
KERNELPOTTER

Why do the "Apple haters" dis the Iphone4 as a gaming option? I have all the newest consoles and always have, however I like several of the Iphone games. When you factor in the low price, the plethora of choices, the great graphics(Iphone4), and the pick up and play unique control...it's hard to dispute the validity of the platform for gaming. I have had much more fun with it than my PSP!!

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

@ToTs_00 Please take note of the fact that the Pip P!n sold for $599, and was released in 1996. Of course it failed. Right now, though, Apple has a 51% market share on mobile gaming.

Trogeton
Trogeton

Considering a lot of iphone games are free they are a blast to play

otakubr
otakubr

i already knew this finally people start to admit iphone is actually a videogame too

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

@Einhanderkiller the iPhone 4 has an A4 processor, lol... it runs at 1GHz, look at "Tech Specs" under Apple's website.

Einhanderkiller
Einhanderkiller

@tehepicpwnzor The iPhone 4 and newest iPod Touch do not run at 1 GHz. The iPad runs its Apple A4 chip at 1 GHz, but the mobile A4 chips do not. They run at about 750 MHz.

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

iPhone "gaming" is a gimmick. Stick to normal consoles and PC, please.

sammoth
sammoth

Ok all Iphones and Mobile phones are not true gaming devices. Yes they work somewhat but, 90% of the games are CRAP. Saying that I wish these developers would spend more time making games for PC & gaming consoles instead of trying to port of 1/2 arse vers of games to mobile phones.

CyberKlown28
CyberKlown28

Real gamers will stick with the 3DS(and whatever thingamajig Sony brings out next). Phone people can have their cheaper, not as good, video games :)

MarcJL31
MarcJL31

@tehepicwnzo Actually it is relevant. I mean they didnt change the PSP because it was only them and the DS. And now they both are coming out with updates(already have developers testing the new PSP). The fact is the iPhone is a media device with gaming capabilities. The PSP and DS are gaming devices with media capabilities. Apple marketing the touch as a gaming device and bragging about its numbers means nothing when you look at the quality of games and the fact they are in 2 different markets. I mean I love my iPhone for a quick game when I am out and bored here and there. And it has some good games. In the end, Apple forced Sony and Nintendo (which hands down control the biggest percentage of the portable gaming sector) hands and we are seeing the response from Nintendo and soon the response from Sony.

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

@RTHKI that's completely irrelevant. They've had 6 years to change it, and they haven't.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

while i don;t know of the companies mentioned in this artitcle, i worry for the western company bought by the eastern company, i know money talks and all, but this kind of stuff is bad, compitaion is what drives the industies of change, just simply buying up a company (and hopefully it's employees) is a lazy way of doing things, and it's always annoyed me...

RTHKI
RTHKI

@tehepicpwnzor the PSP has also been relatively unchanged since it came out in 2004. . .

tehepicpwnzor
tehepicpwnzor

The iPod Touch 4/iPhone 4 actually has better hardware than the PSP. It has a 1GHz processor, compared to a 333Mhz PSP processor. It's screen resolution is double that of the PSP. Also, it's about the same price as a PSP. Quit yo hatin' on Apple.

Gooshnads
Gooshnads

If Apple makes a console and it does well Then kudos. But fat chance. The reason they HAVEN'T is because the other companies would swallow them whole on the console gaming sector. And really if anyone wanted a good gaming experience on the go, they'd just get a PSP or an NDS [i typed out gameboy and corrected myself LMAO] Iphone games are one of those things where you had your non touch screen phone and played those as well... hell those were more fun with the traditional controls and the airplanes dodging 500 things on a 2D plane... Time to play some Lost Viking on SC2. =P

ACMC85
ACMC85

Big in gaming.....he means. Personally I'm not a fan, I prefer the old, "Against the man," Apple. Not this everything we touch is gold. But then.

blancobo
blancobo

The world wide economic crisis continues where as gaming as well continues to grow as it covers more and more technological gizmos.

Bramann
Bramann

Lol @ Mario-nin-freak - "if apple gets big" I'd consider a $15.6 Billion dollar company with stock price of $297 per share big. If your worried about them getting big, I'd head back to 1980.

mario-nin-freak
mario-nin-freak

Man I hate apple, if apple gets big be prepared, games will double in price and they'll all be min-games :x