Yesterday, ngmoco:), the only developer happy enough to show it, raised $25mil and acquired Freeverse, one of the largest, most successful developers in the app universe. Not only do they create iPhone apps, but they've also been Mac devs since the 90's, with some great software such as Comic Life and Lineform.
The real story here isn't just the purchase though, it's what the purchase means to us, the consumers. As you may or may not know, ngmoco:) is the pioneer of the "freemium" app. The concept is that everyone in the App Store will buy the app for free and then purchase more and more of the game through in app purchases. In a recent article in TechCrunch, Neil Young, the CEO of ngmoco:) says that “on any given day, you have about 2% of your audience paying you money” With 9 million copies of Eliminate and Touch Pets running loose, the strategy is obviously working.
With the acquisition,
Neil plans on transferring all of the Freeverse apps over to the "freemium" model in an effort to juice even more money out of some insanely successful titles such as Skee-Ball and Flick Fishing.
"But dad, I just want to throw the skee-ball one more time!!!" says little Johnny. Dad scrunches his head and retorts "No Johnny, that skee-ball game has cost me $45! You told me it was free!"
Edit 11AM MST: I was just informed that the previous Freeverse games are not becoming "freemium" titles, but the titles that Freeverse are already making are moving towards the free-to-play model. I guess little Johnny is safe from playing Skee-Ball. This makes me happy.