Ngmoco, a developer of “socially empowering games” for the iPhone, has acquired Stumptown, a Portland, Ore.-based maker of games like pet simulation Touch Pets Dogs. No financial terms were disclosed. Ngmoco has raised over $40 million from Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners and Maples Investments.
ngmoco (http://ngmoco.com), the leading mobile internet game developer and publisher, has acquired Stumptown Game Machine, makers of the critically acclaimed pet simulation Touch Pets Dogs. Joining ngmoco’s team of creative minds are two visionary figures in the field of artificial intelligence, Andrew Stern and Richard Evans.
“We are delighted to welcome the Stumptown Game Machine team, led by Andrew Stern, to the ngmoco family,” said Neil Young, CEO, ngmoco. “With a proven track record of games that are equal parts charming, fun and accessible, we’re proud to have such terrific AI designers and innovative thinkers expand our growing line-up of games.”
Stumptown Game Machine developed Touch Pets Dogs exclusively for iPhone and iPod touch in collaboration with ngmoco in November 2009. In Touch Pets Dogs, players adopt, nurture and play with their virtual puppies through one-on-one interaction and go on play dates with other players’ dogs from around the world. Upon its release, Touch Pets Dogs topped the free app charts on the Apple App Store and was voted the #1 free iPhone and iPod touch game by IGN. To date, the app has been downloaded more than five million times.
Touch Pets Dogs’ innovative design team was led by Andrew Stern, pioneer of the genre-creating Petz franchise, a series of award-winning interactive virtual character games that has sold more than three million units worldwide, and founder of Stumptown Game Machine. Stern leads the Stumptown team and will oversee the studio’s future projects at ngmoco, building on his experience with artificial intelligence (AI) and procedural animation.
“ngmoco has been an incredibly supportive and creative partner from the beginning of Touch Pets Dogs,” said Andrew Stern. “Formally joining the team strengthens our collaboration and creates the opportunity to make exciting new games.”
Award-winning AI specialist Richard Evans also joins the Stumptown team to lend his expertise in AI design. Having worked on successful simulation games The Sims 3 and Black and White, Evans received the Game Developers’ Choice Award for Programming Excellence in 2002.
Established in June 2008, ngmoco has claimed the top of the App Store charts with the success of its diverse and expanding catalog of iPad, iPhone and iPod touch games powered by its plus+ suite of developer systems that power freemium features. Having delivered more than twenty Top 25 products into the market and with its games played more than 28 million minutes a day, ngmoco is a leading gamemaker and publisher for the iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad.
Stumptown Game Machine will retain its own name, brand and base of operations in Portland, Oregon, as a part of the ngmoco family. Stumptown Game Machine and ngmoco are currently working on a soon-to-be-announced follow-up to the hit Touch Pets Dogs.
Headquartered in San Francisco, ngmoco was founded in 2008 by games industry veterans committed to the new mobile landscape opened up by Apple’s iPhone. ngmoco creates and publishes games for the iPhone and beyond in collaboration with the best and brightest game makers in the world. Founded by Neil Young, Bob Stevenson, Alan Yu and Joe Keene, the company’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maples Investments and Norwest Venture Partners. To witness the lives and minds of the ngmoco team at work on the future of iPhone and iPod touch games, visit http://www.ngmoco.com.
ngmoco’s plus+ Network is a social play service free to players that harnesses the iPhone OS 3.0 technology and enables players to create a persistent profile, challenge friends via social channels, compete for leaderboard glory, participate in game events and discover new games. For more information, please visit http://www.plusplus.com.
About Stumptown Game Machine
Stumptown Game Machine was founded by Andrew Stern in 2008 to develop innovative games combining interactive characters, artificial intelligence and mobile social networking. The team of designers, engineers, artists and animators is based in Portland, Oregon, and is on the web at http://www.stumptowngamemachine.com.