iPhone game developer Ngcomo acquired in $400 million transaction

In what could be the biggest acquisition yet in the mobile gaming space, Japanese mobile Internet conglomerate DeNA said Tuesday it will acquire San Francisco-based mobile developer Ngcomo in a transaction valued at some $400 million USD.

DeNA will initially pay $300 million in cash and securities, however Ngcomo's shareholders could receive up to $100 million additionally if the company reaches certain "performance milestones" through the end of next year. The company is one of Apple's most successful developers with over 60 million downloads.

Its two most successful titles are the Rolando puzzle game series and Eliminate, a first person shooter. While the company's roots are in iPhone development, it announced in September that it will begin releasing titles on the Android platform by the end of the year.

DeNA plans to use Ngcomo's work in smartphone development with its own Mobage Open SDK to create a cross-development gaming platform. This will ease the process for those developers looking to maximize the reach of their work.

The acquisition of Ngcomo is an effort by DeNA to get a foothold in the US market, the company said. This is its second game developer purchase in as many months -- it acquired Mountain View, Calif. Gameview in September -- and third in the sector as it acquired game network Burlingame also last month.

"We're building the largest mobile social gaming platform in the world and populating it with incredible games and services," DeNA founder and CEO Tomoko Namba said in a statement.

Namba told the New York Times Tuesday that he believed social gaming was about to take off, and he wanted to make sure DeNA had made its mark in the space.

"We'd like to capture it and quickly become the world's No. 1 mobile gaming platform," he quipped.

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