The financing round was led by Institutional Venture Partners, with existing shareholders Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Venture Partners and Maples Investments also participating. That brings ngmoco’s total capital raised to $40.6 million -- which yet again proves that iPhone gaming is indeed nothing to sneeze at.
ngmoco CEO Neil Young (not to be confused with the performer of the same name) claims that he wants to “amass enough scale to accelerate away from the pack,” and the swallowing up of Freeverse is certainly a good start. ngmoco has already made a name for themselves in the iPhone gaming world, with two of its titles alone (TouchPets and Eliminate) having been installed 9 million times, with hundreds of thousands of customers playing their games every day.
Last year, ngmoco switched their games to a free model with in-app purchases for virtual goods through its Plus+ social game network. By comparison, all of the Freeverse games have been paid apps, with their Skee-Ball ranked as the No. 4 paid app in the App Store. Young plans to switch the Freeverse games to the free-to-play model, which should net them more downloads and then the potential to make money from the in-app purchases. Young also reports that he has acquired the 99-cent game Charadium from a separate developer and plans to convert it to the same model.
That business model appears to be working: Young says that ngmoco’s TouchPets had “its biggest revenue day” last weekend and they currently have two new games -- We Rule and GodFinger -- on deck specifically designed for the free-to-play model. “On any given day, you have about two percent of your audience paying you money,” Young says.
But don’t expect these acquisitions to slow the ngmoco team down -- they’re already planning 20 new games for this year, with Freeverse expected to nearly match that. Can stomping Tokyo be far behind?