Friday, February 5, 2010

Javaground To A Halt

Following a couple of weeks of speculation amongst industry insiders, the disposition of mobile games developer, and dev/porting tools provider, Javaground became much clearer on Thursday following an email the Irvine, CA based company distributed to key partners. The frankly worded correspondence explains that they're being forced into a fire sale of all of their intellectual property, assets and its 7 member technical team by a creditor, who apparently intends to keep them for itself, if they're unable to fetch over $2mil for the lot within 10 days. The IP in question is Javaground's patent pending Xpress Suite solution, which they claim allows many tier 1 publishers to streamline their development processes by virtue of allowing them to easily port Java code to iPhone, BREW, Android, Flash, etc.

Javaground, founded in Belgium in 2001, has developed titles for a bevy of major publishers over the last few years and has a very good reputation in the industry. Their biggest partner by far has been Sony Pictures Digital, with whom they've worked on notable titles like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Quantum of Solace and Angels & Demons... many for the iPhone. I think this points out the immensely competitive and financially challenging environment in which mobile content companies continue to operate... and that even highly regarded companies, who have made the smartphone app store transition, aren't necessarily immune from financial crisis. Perhaps naively, I had hoped that once we got through the hell of 2009 the creditor clampdown would ease and that companies would be given longer leashes to realize profitability... but it's not looking that way and my conviction now is that 2010 will be another year of winnowing. That said, I hope Javaground can quickly find a friendly buyer and keep up the good work.

No comments:

Post a Comment