In 1794 Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. If you’re a bit rusty on the American industrial revolution, Mr. Whitney’s agricultural device mechanized the arduous process of extracting cottonseeds from the plant fibers. Its promise of timesaving was revolutionary. Its simplistic design was ingenious. The cotton gin transformed the cotton industry, helping to establish it as a commodity, enabling America to emerge as a player on the world economic scene.
So what does this have to do with video game acquisitions, and more specifically to ngmoco?
Money…bum ba da dah.
I'm all right, Jack.
Keep your hands off my stack.
When trying to understand video game acquisition logic, Pink Floyd knows what to look for. Cash. Bread. Quid. Dinero. Acquisitions are motivated by the prospect of earning money.
Neal Young, president of upstart video game developer, gets out bed these days, he’s got a virtual world smile on his face. After all, the former Electronic Arts executive just sold his newbie iPhone development company to Japanese social gaming publisher DeNa Co., Ltd. for an earth shattering, body-slamming $403 million dollars. While questionable, big-dollar acquisitions are nothing new in the video game industry – few can forget Microsoft’s acquisition of Banjo-Kazooie developer Rare for $375 million – Young’s coup d'état is that ngmoco is barely two years. According to my iPhone calculator app, I figure Neal and is fun-n-games cadre earned a whopping half a million dollars a day, just for breathing, just for being alive.
Dan Rogers is a practicing attorney within the video game and digital media industries. He’s also the author of several articles on the video game industry, technology, and digital law.