In our recent article Who is going to be the Zynga of mobile gaming?, we were quick to point out that while ngmoco seems to be the leader in iPhone social gaming, their staunch refusal to explore other devices like Android may hurt them in the long run. Thanks to a recent round of funding, however, their platform-exclusivity could be called into question.
TechCrunch is reporting that Google Ventures has invested approximately $3-5 million in ngmoco, this according to multiple sources. It should be stressed that that Google Ventures is a separate entity from Google itself, and as such has stated time and again that they don’t make strategic investments – but the whole thing still seems a little suspect.
Strategic investments or not, Google has to know how it looks when their venture capital firm makes an investment in a publisher that could do great things for gaming on Android phones. Combine this with Google’s (not Google Ventures) recent investments and acquisitions in the world of social gaming, and you’ve got a pretty clear indication that the big G is looking to do battle on the one digital front that it’s yet to jump into: gaming.