Think Services, owners of gaming website Gamasutra and organizers of the Game Developers Conference and the Independent Game Festival, have entered a partnership with iPhone game publisher ngmoco in a deal that will add a $10,000 'Best iPhone Game' prize to next year's Independent Games Festival Mobile, the website reports.  The move increases the top prize amount in the indie mobile games competition to a record $30,000.

The mobile-focused indie game event was created by Think Services and sponsor Nvidia.  This year the event is expanding to include iPhone games in its overall mobile mix.

“ngmoco is proud to support the independent development community and burgeoning micro-studios who are dedicated to creating device defining “only on iPhone” games”, Alan Yu, Vice President, Artist & Repertoire, ngmoco, said. “As gamemakers, we’ve long admired the IGF for showcasing and highlighting innovation and independent thinking in games.”

Game entry is free and iPhone entries will be eligible for all IGF Mobile categories including game design, technical and audio, art, Best Game, and others.  'Best iPhone Game' finalists will be invited to demonstrate their titles on the Game Developers Conference 2009 expo floor and winners will be featured at the IGF Mobile awards ceremony at GDC 2009.

"We're delighted to be working with ngmoco to help discover the best iPhone games out there," commented Simon Carless, Chairman, Independent Games Festival. "We're starting to see open platforms and innovation spread indie goodness into fascinating new places, and highlighting worthy, high quality iPhone games is something that will benefit both discerning consumers and developers."

ngmoco was started by Neil Young, a former Electronic Arts executive who left the game giant after 11 years to form the iPhone-focused game company.  ngmoco plans on commissioning both original games as well as funding independent developers.