In a world of self-anointed players, ngmoco or Next Generation Mobile Company seems like it's on to something. "Pick something and stick with it!" English born CEO Neil Young confesses right away that "if the video game business went away I wouldn't be able to get another job. It's all I do."
In fact, Young has been professionally immersed in gaming for awhile. He held various positions at Electronic Arts, most recently as the Group General Manager of the EA|Blueprint Studio group that included Maxis (creators of Spore™ & The Sims™) and EA's collaborative partnership with Steven Spielberg. While his background might be impressive, in this climate of students, magicians, and genre enthusiasts who have become "developers" overnight there is a stark reality that many can be successful in such a competitive segment of the market. He says "there are thousands of apps out there but only a handful take full advantage of the device's function."
Young says he's generally happy working with Apple, but he wishes they had more access to some parts of the hardware. "You wanna have access to every surface of the device." This is what Young believes sets his company apart. Their mission is to develop and create games that take full advantage of the iPhone hardware. They have more than 14 games in the pipeline. Two are doing extremely well three days after their release. MazeFinger is a timed classic arcade style game where players "touch" their way through mazes and more to stay alive. Topple challenges players to build towers by dragging and rotating sometimes "uncooperative" shapes. Both games allow users to challenge other players.
MazeFinger and Topple, both "fast apps" (low priced or free apps), are currently the number two paid and free apps in the App Store. Young feels like selling less expensive apps is a great way to develop their brand with the customer. "We want people to download one of our games and go holy shit! This is better than a game that costs $4.99." But don't think that all of ngmoco apps will be so moderately priced. The company will have a full range of "premium" apps in App store soon.
"Rolando" will be the company's first premium offering created exclusively for iPhone. Rolando will lead players into a highly colorful and stylized world that's 36 levels deep and where players will tilt, tap and touch the screen to control the gameplay.
Young has no intentions at the moment of foraying outside of the iPhone segment. In fact, he's so enthusiastic about the device that he believes that the device can surpass the success of the Nintendo DS and the PSP.