There’s no absolute formula for success in the mobile app world — but if there was, ngmoco would probably be amongst those closest to having it figured out. Just about everything they touch (Gun Range, WeFarm, Rolando, and their Plus+ gaming network) turns to gold; unfortunately, the only stuff they’ve touched so far has been exclusively for iOS.
Back in February, ngmoco CEO Neil Young said they were “encouraged” by Android’s growth, but that they’d be sticking with the iPhone for the time being. Oh, how quickly a big ol’ cash injection can change plans; just a month after an estimated $3-5 million investment by Google Ventures, ngmoco is seemingly looking to dive head first into Android development.
Word of their new Android endeavors comes from two separate job posts.
The first is for an “Android Client Engineer“, whose sole listed responsibility is to “Contribute to the development of the Plus SDK, the premium social network for Android”. Here’s the thing: Plus+, which is ngmoco’s pre-built solution for adding things like leaderboards, friend challenges, and achievements to games, is currently an iOS-only product. With Apple having decided to offer up their own official solution for such things with Game Center, ngmoco’s got plenty of reason to start building up their catalog elsewhere.
The second job listing is for an “Android Software Test Engineer”, who would be tasked with testing “new mobile games for Android”. Alas, due to ngmoco’s dual-role as a development house for games and a development house for a social network intended to be integrated into other’s games, this can be taken two ways: either ngmoco is making games that need testing, or they’re looking for someone to make sure Plus+ works well in any third-party games that make use of it.
We reached out to the company for clarification. To two different people, actually. One didn’t respond, and the other… signed off of AIM as soon as I mentioned it. A coincidence, I’m sure.
With that said, it’s almost certainly safe to assume that this means they’ll be building Android games of their own. Android’s hardware sales numbers are skyrocketing, yet the number of high-quality games for the platform is still shockingly low. It’d be crazy for them not to start dabbling with Android right now.
Update: Three days later, ngmoco has announced that they’ve begun development on Android, with WeRule as their flagship product on the platform.
[Thanks for the heads up, Alana!]