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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001


TechCrunch reports that iPhone game developer has secured $25 million more in venture capital funding and has also acquired Freeverse for an unspecified price.

Freeverse began as a Mac shareware company in 1994 and has since expanded to other platforms. Their iPhone division has been particularly successful with a number of top hits including Skee-ball, Flick Fishing and Days of Thunder. Meanwhile, Ngmoco was one of the original iFund funded iPhone startup companies that has focused on iPhone gaming. They have recently made the switch over to a "freemium" model in which they give their games away and make their money on in-app purchases. Games such as Eliminate Pro and Touch Pets Dogs have seen success with this model.

Article Link: iPhone Game Developer Ngmoco Acquires Freeverse


macrumors member
Oct 7, 2008
fantastic, now they're really going to try to push this pay-to-play crap down our throats even more. everyone hates it. they are in some serious denial over there. they have made terrific games but ruined them with their crap pricing model, which pisses me off cause i really wanted to play them. i know theyre not successful cause ive been watching the top grossing apps and NONE of their 'freemium' apps have been in the top 100 for very long. the way i understand there are two scenarios, and both of them suck:
1) you play for free and are crippled and/or limited in what you are able to do
2) you pay to play ridiculous prices in order to play the game to its full potential
both of these situations are a psychological mindfsuk, and either way you cant really enjoy it cause youre on a countdown timer. VERY frustrating.

its actually pretty amazing how narrow-minded (im being very generous here) they are. for example, they could make a fortune off of the touch pets app if they made it completely playable from the start and just allowed people to buy their dog toys, yards, etc.. and especially buy toys for other peoples dogs and take advantage of peoples desire to pay for a gesture (thats how valentines day works). with the eliminate app they couldve made a ton of money and gotten tons of people playing by charging a modest upfront price, and then they couldve made-it-rain with all the money they would get from selling different maps and such.

they are fighting an uphill psychological battle with this bs pricing plan which they are GOING to lose no matter how great the games are. they cant live off investment funding forever.


macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
Wow, this is really terrible. First Pangea, now Freeverse. Bye-bye original mac games.


macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
Central U.S.
Crap, now ngmoco is going to ruin all my favorite Freeverse games! I wish Apple would implement an "ignore updates" feature for the App Store.

Freemium is really lame. I've never been able to get into any of them. My wife was really excited about Touch Pets but hasn't played it since it came out. She didn't want to keep having to pay for dog food. She would rather have a real dog and pay for it's dog food! Too bad our landlord changed our contract at the last minute before we signed it to no pets. If our rent wasn't $329/mo I would probably care more (and yes--its a nice 2br apartment, not fancy though. We just live in a low living expense area and have good credit, but I digress!)

Didn't they make a ton of money from Rolando 1 & 2? I loved both those games. When I heard they killed Rolando 3 because they couldn't figure out a way to financially rape my wallet with a freemium system, I was so upset. Fine, don't take my $10. There are alternatives, Soosiz anyone? Has anyone heard of a sequel to that?


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
I've loved Freeverse and their games from way back. I know nothing about ngmoco, but from the sound of it they're big on pay-per-play games, which is rather horrifying.

What I'm REALLY worried about, though, are their handful of non-game apps--I absolutely LOVE Comic Life, and Sound Studio is sweet for as much as I've used it.

Oh well, at least their existing apps work great now, so they're not going to get any worse regardless of what ngmoco does to the company.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2007
This made me LOL (in a cynical way). Hopefully the Freeverse guys made a ton on money out the deal ;)

Mgmoco are corporate slags so they'll just turn freeverse into another corporate clone; most people won't see the difference cos all they give a **** about is "shoot-like-**** 4" or "drive me mad 12", but their creativity will suffer. 6 months down the line a couple of the top creative people from freeverse will get bored and leave to form another company (if they haven't already) and if they've still got some skills they'll evolve into their own successful company which again will be sold to the corporate boys when they start making some serious money... It's been a familiar story in the games industry for a long time and is probably a good thing as it keeps things fluid. This is why you can't get hung up on company names etc.. just follow the creative people if you like their work...


macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2008
Is this a sign of the market being over-saturated with independent and small firms that are eager for exit strategies?


macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2005
I'm happy for the Freeverse crew. I've met a couple of them at different game developer meetings in NYC and they're pleasant people. In the end, the goal of any small company is to be purchased. It's an incredible financial perk for the owners, but it also allows the company to make sudden growth and head down different creative avenues.

Don't worry guys and gals. There are still mac game developers with indie roots that will strive to bring fun and engaging games to all the Apple platforms. That's the goal of my company ProRattaFactor and many others such as Wolfire and DanLabGames.


macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
You know, I actually think the "Freemium" model is a good idea. In lieu of developers not able to provide demos for their product, this is the best idea. I would rather have this, than all the lite apps cluttering up the store

However, I do not like ngmoco. But that's because I think their games suck.


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Is this a sign of the market being over-saturated with independent and small firms that are eager for exit strategies?
No, it's a sign of a healthy market with big companies eager to suck up additional properties/talent, and small companies looking to cash in on the opportunity.

In the end, the goal of any small company is to be purchased.
No, it's not.

That's the goal of a LOT of small companies, and such a move does indeed have the potential to give good creative people a big wad of cash in exchange for their previous built-up goodwill, which they can either retire happily on or parlay into something new and bigger.

There are, however, also small companies that are quite happy being exactly what they are, and to which the existing fanbase/goodwill/good name/intellectual property is worth more than any sellout agreement to the people running them.

You could argue that such companies aren't really businesses but hobbies or art factories, but from an external perspective they're both "companies" and there's no way to tell the difference until a bid comes in. To some people their company name is their own, and they just aren't willing to sell it.

There's nothing wrong with either model, but it's silly to suggest that one doesn't exist just because it's less common or a "bad" business decision.


macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2010
Pleasantville, NJ
I think we will see a lot more acquisitions sooner than later

Usually in a thriving industry, larger companies beat the competition by joining them. Look what Ecko did with Zoo York and Avirex. It's before a matter of time Gameloft or EA do the same thing (well EA already did with Playfish, and I'm sure it won't be their last).


macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2003
Wow guys, harsh much?

The last time I remember a Mac gaming company being bought out, it was Microsoft buying Bungie. This transaction is infinitely better, and shows growth in the Mac/iPhone gaming market.

Next thing you know, we'll have Mac gaming companies buying out Windows/mobile gaming companies :D
Well, I can wish, can't I? :rolleyes:
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