Free-to-play: Not a gold mine for everyone →

Neil Young and Bob Stevenson left Ngmoco: the mobile gaming company they co-founded back in the early days of the App Store. Remember Rolando?

Jared Nelson, Touch Arcade:

Starting in early 2010, ngmoco churned out one freemium title after the next, each typically very similar to each other just with different themes. Despite being scoffed at by the more "hardcore" gaming crowd, these games continued to draw huge numbers of users and bring in a lot of money for ngmoco, as well as continue to grow their online social gaming platform Plus+ which was included in each of their games.

Rocketcat (makers of the pretty cool Hook Champ game, among others) isn't having the best of days either. Their new free-to-play game, Punch Quest, hasn't been selling up to their expectations.

Andrew Webster, The Verge:

... while the game hasn't performed the way the studio would have liked financially, it did help Rocketcat achieve its goal of reaching a new audience, something that would likely not have happened if the game had a price tag. "In a lot of ways, Punch Quest did what we set out to do," Auwae says. The game could also serve as a useful learning experience, as the studio continues its transition to the world of free-to-play. The early financial disappointment of Punch Quest hasn't scared Rocketcat off of the payment model.

"We're going to try the model again for the next release, see if we can do it next time," says Auwae. "It's really either that or leaving mobile game development completely."

Fun times.