Ngmoco hasn't been the preeminent mobile developer that they once were since being bought out by Japanese-based DeNA in October of 2010. After bringing such stellar premium titles like the Rolando series and Star Defense, a major switch to the freemium model in 2011 proved to be successful. They continued on with releasing a variety of free-to-play city-builders and simulation games of varying themes, but haven't been directly developing anything for iOS for a long time.

Their freemium games were incredibly popular, but as with anything that's built entirely around online and social functionality that popularity can't possibly last forever. Ngmoco has previously shut down the servers for Miraphonic's "Wars" series of games in early 2011, including the massively popular Epic Pet Wars, and they caused even more of a stir when they shut down the servers for Eliminate last year, one of the first great online multiplayer first-person shooters and arguably the game that sparked off their huge interest in the freemium market.

Well, the axe continues to fall as Ngmoco has announced on their website the shuttering of four more of their online-reliant titles. We Rule Deluxe [Free / Free (HD)], GodFinger All-Stars [Free / Free (HD)], TouchPets Cats [Free] and TouchPets Dogs 2 [Free] will all cease functioning on March 31st. Besides the announcement on their website they're also warning players who boot into these games via a pop-up notification.

The games themselves will be taken down from the App Store on February 1st, and all in-app purchases have already been disabled in-game. Any unused IAP can still be used up until March 31st, and all the games will still be playable until that point. Hopefully you haven't developed too strong of a bond with your virtual pets, because after that point you won't be seeing them again. It's something to think about when dedicating a ton of time and/or money into server-based, freemium games like this. After more than 25 years I can still blow the dust out of my Super Mario Bros. cartridge and fire it up, but a game that's not even a few years old yet will be gone forever at the end of March.

Thanks Payam!

  • CrispyCreamed

    What a true shame that NGMoco has become this irrelevant so soon. I have extremely fond memories of Eliminate.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

    Once they were my favorite game developer, then they become a freemium factory... Too bad.

  • jindofox

    Very well said. These games have always been a pointless waste of time (and for some, money). When the owner can just pack up and go home, they're even more ephemeral. Ouch.

    • Nick

      I quite enjoyed We Rule. There was just something about it that kept my interest longer than the majority of these kinds of games. Some games aren't everyone's cup of tea, that doesn't make them inherently "crappy". I was able to play without paying anything, though I did give them some money after playing for a while because of how much enjoyment I had with them. I soon began to move away from these kinds of games due to the amount of time they capitalized of mine. Having to go back at multiple times was too hard to shake, and getting too unhealthy, but at no point did I feel the game was garbage.

  • Shadowside

    Another great example of the flawed business models game companies are trying to foist on players these days. IAP are a curse.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sokolov22 Derek Chin

      The model is not inherently evil and there are many good points about it. It is what companies do within that is the difference.

  • B30

    Yeah, a few less of these Freemium-Crap!!!

  • mr_bez

    Can't say I've played any of these games or even want to. At least they've done the decent thing and disabled IAPs early, giving plenty of notice.

  • wiredpup

    I used to love We Rule but after the last year or so just gave up in it.

    • Brian Kerns

      I spent over $50 on We Rule, but after the mojo-money grabs and horrible support (it would crash consistently on an iPad), I had to move on to Dragonvale a year and a half ago.

      Can't imagine anyone would still be playing that game at this point.

  • Wikilix

    God Finger was my first freemium game, I liked the concept, but that was years ago

  • vesperdem

    I would put Rolando and Rolando 2 up in my top 10 iOS apps ever made. They were great original ideas that have never been copied since.

    I suppose one could say that they were not copied because they were not that good, but I really loved them.

    • Martin von Randow

      They were amazing games. If only they had made the third chapter before going fail freemium!

    • http://twitter.com/majestic_whine majestic whine

      As original as Loco Roco?

  • vic_viper_001

    ...And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust...

  • Gamer_Kev

    This is why I make it a point to never getting attached to any game that requires online connections. This isn't just happening on iOS, it's also real problem on the PC front and heading to the consoles too. As a retro gamer and collector, I feel sorry for the future generations of retro gamers who want relive the games from their childhood. I'm glad I can still pull out my Intellivision or my Sega Master System anytime I want to relive the games I enjoyed as a child.

    • lumpia91791

      You can always rely on Nintendo. They are too willing to recycle and sell you the same game you played/bought in 9th grade.

  • Victoria Magisteriaux

    After investing so much time and artistry creating my kingdom in We Rule- I am personally disgusted with ngmoco and I am certain that I speak for a whole lot of people that would never play any game by them again. A few months ago they said they would be offering contests and keep We Rule around... Now they pull the plug on it....they are nothing but liars and thieves.

  • Cod.D Luffy

    YOU GUYS CAN'T GET RID OF WE RULE OR WE CITY OR EVEN WE FARM PLEASE DON'T GET RID OF THOSE GAMES

  • Victoria Magisteriaux

    Can't ngmoco sell "We Rule" to another company that would actally support their games instead of just pulling the plug on about half a million people playing this game all over the world. It makes me sick. Ngmoco does not care about people at all... It's all about greed for this company. How many man hours were spent by your people making all the aspects of this game...and then you just throw it in the trash....so stupid! I wish we could all file a class action suit against them for blatantly lying to us about keeping the game around.

  • Maddi Baker

    WTF! I can't even.......... :(

  • Ina

    I didn't relally understand the message, when i read it while playing godfinger, because my english isn't the best. now i was searching on the internet, because i wondered why it is no more available in the app store.
    and here it's written, it will be playable until March 3rd 2013. I wonder why i still can play it .... does anyone know?

  • Ina

    and i ABSOLUTELY loved that games, well, i still do, and i think many people did, so why does ngmoco just throw all that in the trash??? :(

  • SpiritMuse

    Six months on, although We Rule definitely seems to be gone, I'm somehow still able to connect and play GodFinger. Anyone else?

  • Groot ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    wow...sold my iPhone back in 2010. Came back today to see how my kingdom was doing...kingdom that I spent over $200 on...this is just sad.