Neil Young (video game executive)

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Neil Young
OccupationVideo game development
Known forngmoco

Neil Young is a video game designer, producer, executive, and entrepreneur. Young is best known for founding the mobile game company ngmoco in 2008, which created games including We Farm, Godfinger, and the Rolando series as well as the Plus+ mobile platform. In 2010, ngmoco was acquired by DeNA Co., Ltd for up to $400 million.[1][2][3] Young is also known for his role as Executive Producer and product lead for the hit video games The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.[4][5][6] Young held numerous executive positions at Electronic Arts during his 11-year tenure there, including Studio Manager of Maxis,[7] General Manager of EA Los Angeles,[8] and General Manager of EA: Blueprint (a new business unit chartered to create innovative new IP for EA).[9][10][11] After leaving DeNA, Young founded N3TWORK in 2013, a small technology company that started out building a new app for organizing and viewing internet content but pivoted to mobile games in 2015.[12][13][14][15]


Young was born in London and grew up there. He came to the United States in 1992 as a manager of game design for Virgin Interactive.[16] He rose to the rank of Vice President of Product Development over four years. Young is listed as Executive Producer on Virgin's The 7th Guest, a breakthrough PC game released in 1994.

Young left for Electronic Arts in 1997,[17] joining Origin Systems as General Manager overseeing the Ultima, Wing Commander, and Janes Combat Simulations businesses. In addition to his executive role at Origin, Young has a co-executive producer credit on the Wing Commander film. In 1999 he moved to EA's Redwood Shores headquarters and created Majestic, a pioneering Alternate Reality game released in 2001. Majestic was hailed as a bold experiment in game design but was not commercially successful. After Majestic, Young led the teams making console games based on the Lord of the Rings movies for EA, overseeing The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.[18] Those games were very successful. He took over Maxis as General Manager in early 2004, then moved to Los Angeles to run EA Los Angeles in late 2004. While at EA Los Angeles, In 2006, Young secured a three-game deal between EA and Steven Spielberg (the games were to be collaborations between game teams at EA Los Angeles and the film director). The first two games released in the partnership with Spielberg were Boom Blox and Boom Blox Bash Party. Young also oversaw the release of Medal of Honor: Airborne as EA Los Angeles GM. In 2007 Young left EA Los Angeles and founded EA: Blueprint, a new division of EA that experimented with new intellectual property and new ways of building games.

In 2008, Young saw the potential in making games for the new iPhone and founded ngmoco, a mobile game company. Funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Norwest Venture Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners (among others), ngmoco released a series of mobile games including Rolando, MazeFinger, GodFinger, and We Farm. The company also developed a new mobile platform called Plus+, sparking the interest of DeNA, a large Japanese mobile game publisher. DeNA acquired ngmoco in 2010 for more than $400 Million. Young left DeNA in 2012.

The ngmoco founding team got back together in 2013 with N3TWORK, funded (again) by Kleiner Perkins. N3TWORK's mission was to create a new app for organizing and viewing internet content. N3TWORK abandoned its content browsing app and started making mobile games in 2015. The company is enjoying some success with their current mobile game Legendary: Game of Heroes.[19]


  1. ^ "Japan's DeNA buys iPhone game publisher Ngmoco for up to $400M | GamesBeat". Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  2. ^ Pham, Alex (2010-10-13). "Japanese company DeNA buys iPhone game developer Ngmoco for $400 million". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  3. ^ "Neil Young's path to the multibillion-dollar mobile social game market (interview) | GamesBeat". Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  4. ^ Dunham, Douglass C. Perry & Jeremy (2003-04-25). "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Details and Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  5. ^ "Neil Young". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  6. ^ Dunham, Douglass C. Perry & Jeremy (2003-04-25). "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Details and Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  7. ^ Thorsen, Tor (2004-03-25). "Neil Young to lord over Maxis". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  8. ^ Surette, Tim (2004-12-15). "Neil Young heads to EALA". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  9. ^ Alexander, Leigh. "EA: Best Of Luck To Former EALA Head Young In Amicable Parting". Kotaku. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  10. ^ "Neil Young Responds To EA Closing His Former 'Blueprint' Project". MTV News. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  11. ^ Staff, Gamespot (2008-06-24). "Report: Neil Young departs EA". GameSpot. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  12. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai. "Neil Young Steps Down As DeNA's Ngmoco CEO, Clive Downie Steps Up". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
  13. ^ "N3twork's Neil Young takes a second stab at mobile gaming greatness | GamesBeat". Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  14. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai. "The Team Behind Ngmoco Raises $12M For N3twork, A Re-Imagined Way Of Browsing Mobile Content". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  15. ^ Nutt, Christian. "Neil Young is back in games, chasing the West's ' Puzzle & Dragons moment'". Retrieved 2017-11-19.
  16. ^ Marriott, Michel (2001-08-23). "Game Designer Who Breaks the Mold". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  17. ^ "The Great Escape". Next Generation. No. 34. Imagine Media. October 1997. p. 43.
  18. ^ "Neil Young Video Game Credits and Biography - MobyGames". MobyGames. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  19. ^ "Mobile game company N3twork acquires Agamemnon to create marketing platform | GamesBeat". Retrieved 2017-11-25.