• Author arn
  • Posted On2010-10-12 03:59:46
  • News

The New York Times confirms rumors that started last week that iPhone game company ngmoco was on the verge of acquisition. Japanese company DeNA will indeed be acquiring iOS game developer ngmoco:

DeNA, the Japanese social gaming giant, said Tuesday that it would acquire Ngmoco, a Silicon Valley iPhone game developer, for $400 million — one of the largest deals ever involving an iPhone application developer and another sign that the iPhone is fast becoming the hottest gaming device on the market.

Ngmoco had previously received about $40 million in funding throughout its existence. The acquisition was approved by DeNA's board and is expected to officially close in the next couple of weeks.

DeNA founder Tomoko Namba cites "social gaming" as the big tide in gaming and is seeking to expand into the western market with the acquisition.

Ngmoco was founded in 2008 just as the App Store launched. We first reported on the company's founding back in July, 2008. Ngmoco was responsible for some of our favorite early iOS titles including Rolando, Dropship, WordFu and more. Recently, however, they've transitioned into freemium/social gaming with titles like We Farm, We City, and Touch Pets Dogs.

  • Rysiu

    yay! they will drop "freemium" model and make Rolando 3 :D

    • http://normalkid.com Arnold Kim

      unlikely. DeNA is buying them because of the freemium play.

  • Sevallis

    Oh boy, what now Freeverse?

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.n.smith Jordan Smith

      ngmoco already owns Freeverse, IIRC.

  • someone

    is this a bad thing or a good thing to happen?

    • http://twitter.com/i3aht Thierry Doumon

      Bad thing if you're hoped that iOS would grow into a direct competitor to traditional handheld consoles...good if you value quantity over quality.

  • Fokion

    Well, I stopped caring after Rolando 2. Shame, really, as they seemed to hit the perfect balance between production values, playability and "iphone-ness".

    • Anonymous

      Too true. Freemium is designed almost exclusively for stealing kids' pocket money and not much else.

  • http://twitter.com/niezam niezam sandakan

    Today we announced that ngmoco:) is being acquired by DeNA - http://blog.ngmoco.com/post/1296593011/dena-to-acquire-ngmoco-a-note-from-the-founders

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_A6WEE7UFEIURV3ZM5GPSLUMVDE Mohammad Fauzi

    $400 million? Seriously!? I think, that's too much being brandish around. I hope, they're gonna get their money worth or it will be the internet bubble exploding once again like before!!

  • Masmo

    Wait, is it 400 or 40 million? Seems like a typo somewhere

    • Blah

      It reads 400 million.

      • Masmo

        Oh whoops, I read the second paragraph and thought it said it paid 40 Million.

  • Anonymous

    Tbh, the company has more evolved into a social gaming one like zynga (sp?), rather than pure iPhone games.
    And; yes, it has established it's brand and reputation pretty well. Probably really is worth a fair bit...

  • http://twitter.com/mialazar Mia Lazar

    For 2 years $400M good deal.

  • Bunhole

    So why are Japanese companies allowed to purchase American but not the other way around? Kinda screwy if you ask me.

    • Nintee39

      Because the Japanese usually have too much respect and honor to be bought out by a foreign company. It's sad that American companies become such sell outs very quickly.

      • Turbodonkey

        The entire purpose of ngmoco's board all along was to increase the value of the company and then sell it when it was ripe. They never cared about any of their games, the people who made them, or the people who played them. Their aim, from the start, was to sell out as soon as they could, to ride the bubble and run away with the cash as soon as possible.

      • Nintee39

        You misinterpreted the word "sell out"

  • Hondapp

    they could've bought the Liverpool football team and some good football players.

    they could've bought a Michelangelo's painting and a Van Gogh.

    Not to mention how many houses around the world I could buy with those money.

    I don't get why ngmoco is worth that much: 5 stupid games and nothing else.

    please someone explain.

    • Anonymous

      The Liverpool deal was in pounds sterling, $400m isn't enough.

      • http://twitter.com/riChchestMat Chris Matchett

        I'd say it's too much ;-P

  • Dyscode

    I don´t have ANY ngmoco games in my 800+ library, so that tell who much I will miss this company.
    Oh yeah Dropship. The only good game and they abandoned it.

  • Mandi

    So I guess this means I can abandon all hope for any updates to ngmoco's older titles, like Rolando, Topple, Dropship, Dr. Awesome, Star Defense... you know the games I actually *paid* for. They will never see new levels, or retina support, or anything else. I'm happy for them I guess, I was a big supporter of them back at the start. I am a bit concerned about the fate of Freeverse in all this. I hope they are allowed to still have an identity and not just become in-house labor cranking out more Farmville clones.

  • Hondapp

    Very sad for Freeverse, anyway.
    I wish they bought ngmoco a few months ago.

    That would make much more sense to me.

    • Dyscode

      yeah, would have been def. the better junction in history.

  • eev

    so, after financial crisis, companies have started to f with money again )))))

  • Anthonyl

    If I could define DeNA is one world it would be overconfident this ia pretty big gamble for a company that was just boasting that it would soon reach 1B in revenue not profit and thinks a mobage will work in the usa ... gotta hit the ground running i guess

  • Andy_Mars

    I doubt Freeverse and Ngmoco titles will just disappear, I mean, why would DeNA buy them if not for their licences. That being said, we might just end up getting We Space Station or some such nonsense.

  • Anonymous

    Whatever. They make number harvesting games for boring idiots, now they can make even more Skinner Box material for a wider range of boring idiots. I wish they'd just sell the rights to Rolando to a developer who actually cares to make video games.

  • loner

    ngmoco killed some great franchises

  • Anonymous

    Congrats Ngmoco! More proof of why the freemium business model and virtual goods are on a meteoric rise, fasten your seatbelts! We wrote a couple months back about Ngmoco's $100M+ valuation. http://bit.ly/ahLyPx

    • Anonymous

      Meteoric rise and moral slump.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335603011 Greg Feingold

    I don't think this is a good idea... Freemium games haven't yet figured out how to retain players (for example Farmville is hemorraghing players).

  • Anonymous

    i wanted rolando 3!!!