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Rolando developer bought

Big-time iPhone app developer Ngmoco, which has developed such hits as Rolando and Star Defense, has been bought by DeNA, a massive Japanese social gaming company, for $400million.

The move represents a big step into the western world for DeNA, which is massive in Japan (thanks to Mobage Town, a mobile social game platform that also offers chat rooms and virtual characters) but little-known elsewhere. Their plan appears to be to become a serious rival to the likes of Facebook and Farmville developer Zynga, and San Francisco-based Ngmoco is the right acquisition to do just that: since it was founded in 2008 its games have been downloaded more than 60million times for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

‘The big tide in social gaming is coming, right now,’ said Tomoko Namba, the founder and chief executive of DeNA. ‘We’d like to capture it and quickly become the world’s No. 1 mobile gaming platform.

‘We’re only active in the Japanese market, and we haven’t figured out how to cover the Western market. We want to enable developers to go cross-device and to go cross-border. And we need this to happen quickly, in about the next one or two years.’

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