I’ve been buying and playing a lot of iPhone games in the last month and so far, two publisher names are notably associated with some of the most best-selling titles – ngmoco and Chillingo. I say “notably” because while there is Gameloft and Digital Chocolate, it appears these two (dare I say) new entrants have only started with iPhone games and are exclusively developing/publishing games for the said platform.
I’m not gonna do a publisher profile here, but ngmoco got the greater part of my attention because of its demo games utilizing the iPhone SDK 3.0. It is the publisher for 2 of the 3 demo games: TouchPets and LiveFire. Both are showing the possibilities of push notifications (damn), peer-to-peer networking and in-game purchases.
I don’t even know how to pronounce the name (sounds like “bil mo ko” in Tagalog :)) but ngmoco is apparently headed by one of those people who left big studios to form new ones for the iPhone. Neil Young, the founder and CEO, used to work for EA. What’s interesting to see is a blog entry on how they developed WordFu (curiously, a semi-well-known developer of the name, at least to me, Demiurge Studios, was also mentioned) and is a really solid albeit short peek at how ngmoco works as a game publisher. Now, I don’t know if all publishers work this way, but it seems like they’re pretty hands-on.
If you’re wondering if there is a case study of ngmoco working with a lone ranger, check out Simon Oliver and his Rolando story.