updated 11:50 pm EST, Mon February 22, 2010
Companies to remain functionally independent
iPhone game developer ngmoco has acquired Freeverse, another leading game producer. Ngmoco CEO Neil Young also helped the company raise $25 million in series C funding, according to TechCrunch. The latest round of investment reportedly includes Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Venture Partners, and Maples Investments.
Like many developers, ngmoco has been converting its app catalog into free titles. Rather than charging customers up front, the games can be downloaded and played for free. Users can then choose to make in-app purchases to unlock additional features within the game.
Freeverse's lineup, which includes popular titles Skee-Ball and Flick Fishing, is currently available as paid apps. Although the developer will retain its branding and functional independence, it will reportedly engage the same free-download model that ngmoco is attempting to follow.
“On any given day, you have about 2% of your audience paying you money,” Young says. The company plans to release at least 20 new games this year, with a similar number expected from Freeverse.