As they happened to have $400 million dollars just kicking around anyway, the Japanese game moguls at DeNA thought they’d, you know, buy mobile gaming darlings ngmoco. Just because they could. Seriously though, the news of DeNA's pricey acquisition is significant, as the $400 million transaction is easily one of the highest ever paid to buy out a company that specializes in iOS application development.
On American soil, despite all of the money at the company's disposal, DeNA is something less than a household name. However, were you to survive a swim to Japan, it's a totally different story: Inside the borders of the island-bound nation, the company is a gaming giant, with multiple properties that Japanese consumers get enough of. DeNA offers up their gaming wares for free, but playing the games require users to design their own avatars in order to play the company's gamers and interact with other players. As part of this, DeNA offers clothing and other goods that players can customize their avatars with. If the amount of money the company was capable of paying for ngmoco is any indication, their business model is a very, very successful one. As for ngmoco? We're betting you're familiar with their work. Anyone that's spent countless hours building a kingdom with their wickedly addictive We Rule game for iOS can attest to the company's prowess for producing quality software.
In an interview with the New York Times, DeNA's president Tokomo Namba stated that he felt the next big wave in social gaming is coming. "We'd like to capture it and quickly become the world's No. 1 mobile gaming platform," said Namba. "We want to enable developers to go cross-device and to go cross border. And we need this to happen quickly, in about the next one to two years."
Anything that drives the quality of gaming forward is most certainly a win in our books. But we have to wonder: Why does Namba want to see his goals achieved in the next one or two years? Did the price paid for Ngmoco put that much of a dent in DeNA's coffers that if a profit doesn't turn in that amount of time, they'll be in deep financial trouble? Perhaps Namba feels that the trend towards social gaming will have peaked by then? Only time will tell. No matter the outcome, here's hoping we see some awesome products shipping as a result of DeNA's purchase in the very near future.
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