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Kiwi ceases current operations as it sells 'cash-positive' games to longtail expert RockYou

San Francisco dev pulls back
Kiwi ceases current operations as it sells 'cash-positive' games to longtail expert RockYou

US Android-focused social mobile developer Kiwi is shutting down its current operations.

The San Francisco company, which raised a total of $21 million, has sold the vast majority of its live games to longtail specialist RockYou.

These include its Westbound and Shipwrecked games, plus Brightwood Adventures and Explorers: Skull Island.

Over the next few weeks, RockYou will also launch the currently in-development Shipwrecked: New World.

RockYou is already listed as the publisher of two of Kiwi's games - Brightwood Adventures and Westbound: Pioneer Adventure on the App Store.

When this process is complete, Kiwi will only have four legacy games live on the App Store and none on Google Play.

Something new or blue?

Of course, it could be that the company has sold off what RockYou CEO Lisa Marino described as games with "solid and stable user bases" and being "cash-flow positive" to reboot its operations.

Over the years, RockYou has bought and continues to run the mobile portfolio from Digital Chocolate, as well as picking up many of Kabam's web games in late 2014.

RockYou has bought Kiwi games including <em>Westbound: Pioneer Adventure</em>
RockYou has bought Kiwi games including Westbound: Pioneer Adventure

Its business model is to leverage operational efficiencies on games that have passed their peak in terms of player numbers but which still have sustainable and potentially high value communities in the short term.

But for Kiwi, the future seems uncertain.

It raised $15 million in its Series B round in August 2014, hiring five senior staff shortly after.

If it is in the process of shutting down - which seems most likely - it would be another demonstration of just how competitive the mobile games market has become, especially in high cost locations such as San Francisco.