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Ngmoco: DeNA lawsuit won't affect Western plans

"Not the first time I've seen a large company attacked for being anti-competitive" - Young

Ngmoco CEO Neil Young has claimed that the anti-monopoly lawsuit being brought against owner firm DeNA has little bearing on plans to expand to the West.

The two companies are planning to bring Japanese firm DeNA's successful Mobage mobile social platform to the West next year, as part of a global expansion intended to make DeNA "bigger than Nintendo."

However, DeNA has been targeted by rival Japanese firm Gree, which claims DeNA has sought to prevent developers on its platform releasing products for Gree's.

"DeNA and Gree have been fighting it out for dominance for a while now," Young told at Evolve In London yesterday. "I'm sure those two companies would try hard to beat the other."

"I saw that news this morning too and spoke to Tomoko [Namba, DeNA CEO], and she kind of gave me her context on it. I think it's interesting and understandable. I'm sure those things will get figured out.

"It's not the first time that I've seen a large company being either investigated for or being attacked for being anti-competitive. I think it's happened to Microsoft, Apple and Google. I'm sure it'll happen to Facebook at some point...

"So maybe DeNA's moving into the league of being targeted. Maybe that's a good thing!"

When asked whether the suit could affect plans for Mobage (pronounced Mo-barge-ee) in the West, Young firmly stated "No. What I read is the question is whether or not DeNA or Gree have prevented developers from doing things on their platform if they signed up to the other person's platform. That's not really a consideration here.

"I don't think we would ever say to a developer "hey, be on our platform but if you have the game on our platform you can't have it on A.N.Other platform, in the same way that Apple probably couldn't or wouldn't say that about a game being on iOS or Android."

However, he acknowledged that there were more positive ways of ensuring a degree of platform exclusivity, as has happened to some extent with Facebook and Zynga. "That may have been incentives. There's a difference between incentives and prevention."

The full interview with Neil Young will be published next Tuesday.

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Alec Meer avatar
Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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