In one of the largest social games deals ever, Japanese firm DeNA plans to buy Silicon Valley iPhone games developer Ngmoco for $400 million.
It is the latest in a series of offshore buys by DeNA, which has a market cap of $4 billion and aims to be a global player, New York Times reports.
“The big tide in social gaming is coming, right now,” founder and CEO Tomoko Namba said in an interview. “We’d like to capture it and quickly become the world’s No. 1 mobile gaming platform.”
That puts it head to head with Google, which has taken a stake in social games firm Zynga, Facebook and Disney.
The deal confirms the massive demand for iPhone games, and also means Silicon Valley VC Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has already recouped all of its $100 million investment in an iPhone apps fund.
Ngmoco, founded two years ago by former Electronic Arts executive Neil Young, says its games have been downloaded more than 60 million times onto iPhones. It is about to start developing Android-based games.