Ngmoco says Mobage for smartphones goes hand-in-hand with new iOS and Android games
Details lost in translation
Following the publication of this article, ngmoco Neil Young has contacted PocketGamer.biz to say:
"ngmoco's first party development is bigger and better than ever, with a host of new titles shipping throughout the year on iOS and Android, phone and tablet."
According to the company's twitter account:
"There was a translation/transcription error in the Q&A you cited. We are definitely still making games for 2011 and beyond :)"
Our original article is below.
The purchase of US iOS developer ngmoco by Japanese social mobile platform company DeNA for $303 million (excluding earnout) in October was the biggest mobile gaming deal of 2010.
The price wasn't due to ngmoco's success as a freemium publisher of games such as We Rule and Godfinger however.
DeNA wanted ngmoco's Plus+ social mobile network, so it could integrate it with its own Japanese platform Mobage to create an East-West social mobile behemoth.
Change of focus
So, following on from DeNA's announcement of its spectacular FY10 results, it's revealed that ngmoco has dropped development work on new social games to work on the integration of Plus+ and Mobage.
According to a response to a question at its company presentation, in 2011 DeNA will invest an additional ¥600 million (around $7.5 million) in order to fund its overseas subsidiaries; mainly ngmoco.
Part of this increase in funding has occured as DeNA explains; "We are not forecasting such a large volume of revenue [from ngmoco], in part because ngmoco is concentrating its resources on preparations for the start-up of Mobage Global and has suspended the development of new social games."
Other aspects of DeNA's business were questioned; notably its prediction of Q1 FY2011 sales of ¥33 billion (around $407 million), which is an increase of only ¥1 billion ($12 million) compared to Q4's total.
It explained it expects growth to be slower in the first half of the year, as it invests aggressively in the launch of Mobage Global, and its Japanese network starts the transition from feature phone games to smartphones.
Blowing your trumpet
Another interesting aside is the company says it will be rolling out installation-based advertising campaigns in the US to quickly grow the install base of Mobage in the region.
Ngmoco was a keen user of incentivised download offerwalls from companies such as Tapjoy for its games; a practice since banned by Apple, and now publicly condemned by ngmoco executives.
DeNA said it would also be looking to deals with carriers and OEMs, such as its existing deal with Samsung, as well as investing TV commercials to gain users.
[source: DeNA (PDF)]