Ngmoco, the gaming company behind popular iOS titles like Topple, Rolando, and We Rule, has been quietly floundering for the last few months. Its last release of note was Godfinger, which came out back in November of 2010, and since then, we haven’t seen anything exciting from the company, which most recently released the subpar Pachinko Frenzy.
Even last year’s $400 million purchase by Asian gaming company DeNA didn’t spur Ngmoco into releasing new iOS titles, and yesterday, TechCrunch announced that the company was laying off employees:
“Ngmoco recently had a round of layoffs — maybe somewhere above 30 people, according to one source. The number isn’t huge, but among the departed are senior leaders including a director of platform tech and the chief marketing officer, this person tells me. One game has apparently been shut down, while another has been pared down, with some engineers remaining to see it launch.”
Of course, Ngmoco CEO Neil Young attributed the layoffs to the elimination of duplicate positions during the merger of the two companies, but according to Inside Mobile Apps, Ngmoco also missed its first earn out date, indicating that the company may have missed important performance deadlines.
This is a sad fate for a gaming company that once held such promise. Back in the early days of iOS games, Rolando was a must have title, and Ngmoco had a strong entry into the early world of freemium games with We Rule. Is Young covering up a dying company, or is it a simple restructuring, as he says?