ngmoco unveils its social networking Plus+ Network

Ex-Sega exec Simon Jeffery to head Plus+ group

ngmoco unveils its social networking Plus+ Network
It's all go at VC-funded App Store publisher ngmoco. It's just launched another great game - Star Defense - as well as showing off highly-anticipated future projects such as Rolando 2 and KillTest at WWDC.

And now it's opening its arms to the rest of the development community with its social networking platform Plus+ Network.

This is part a technology play - similar to Aurora Feint's OpenFeint platform - combined with a thirdparty publishing arm; something ngmoco CEO Neil Young well understands the power of, thanks to his experiences with previous employer EA and its EA Partners division.

It hooks up EA's retail muscle with independent PC and console developers such as id, Epic, Starbreeze and Crytek. In a similar way, we expect the well-funded ngmoco (over $15 million invested to date) to start aggressively cutting deals with the best talent in the iPhone and iPod touch development community.

As for the Plus+ Network, it's primed for a roll out as the 3.0 OS is taken up by users.

It includes a persistent profile for gamers, and will doubtless have all the usual features we've come to expect from online gaming services such as Xbox Live Arcade: i.e. achievements, lobbies, chat, skill-based filtering - oh and juvenile chat with some little snot who's just punked you (well, hopefully not the later).

To ensure this happens correctly, ngmoco has recruited Simon Jeffery, ex-president and COO of Sega of America to be its chief publishing officer.

As is the way in these situations, he had some fairly generic and unsurprisingly nice things to say:

"I am delighted to join ngmoco. It's a very exciting time to be shaping a new games landscape with a super-talented team. With Plus+ Publishing, we are going to be able to create a system for great developers to plug directly into an incredible, proven publishing framework and network technology to help accelerate their games."

Slightly more interestingly, ngmoco founder and COO, Joe Keene stated:

"We have a long-term vision for Plus+ Network to grow to become the definitive service for iPhone and iPod touch gamers to discover games and friends, play against each other and ultimately gain success, bragging rights and rewards in the community."

Plus+ Publishing will offer the infrastructure for developers to take advantage of ngmoco's publishing capacity, as well as the Plus+ Network and custom support.

We hence assume that the two will only be available as a package deal, unlike OpenFeint which is a pure technology play, with developers and publishers making their own way on the App Store.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.