Rumble Entertainment secures $17.5M in funding

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Rumble Entertainment is starting to make some serious noise in the gaming space.

Not only did the company announce $17.5M in Series B financing led by free-to-play giant Nexon, but their first game, KingsRoad, already attracts over 1 million players per month in its open web and Facebook beta, with 40-percent of players joining in real-time cooperative play daily while spending an average playing time of over 1 hour per session.

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Free-to-play developer Socialspiel announces round of funding, new CEO

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Free-to-play games developer Socialspiel has announced a six-figure funding round, as well as a change of CEO. The Austrian game developer is comprised of former RockStar Games developers, which, combined, have contributed to the development of over 50 games for console, mobile and more.

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Mobile developer Kiwi, Inc. secures $9 million in funding for Android game development

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Mobile game developer Kiwi, Inc. has announced a new partnership with Sequoia Capital, resulting in $9 million in funding. The company has also received backing from AdMob founder Omar Hamoui, Guitar Hero co-creator Charles Huang and SV Angels.

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Yodo1 raises $5M in Series A funding, CEO Henry Fong on the company’s partner selection process

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Full-service Chinese mobile games publisher Yodo1 announced it has secured $5 million in Series A Funding. The round was led by SingTel Group with additional funding from original investor Chang You Fund.

Yodo1 CEO Henry Fong said in a statement that the main challenge for the company now is keeping up with Western developers eager to join its roster of partners. For this reason, the new funding will be used to expand Yodo1′s production capacity to work with more Western game companies and build the company’s platform and production team.

Yodo1, which came out of stealth in June 2012 with $2 million in seed funding, helps its publishing partners crack the Chinese market by focusing on app store distribution, social distribution, payments and advertising. Yodo1 also does a deep dive into the localization process with a fully-staffed studio of artists and developers who work with Western partners to adapt their games to Chinese tastes.

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Nonstop Games secures $2.9M in seed funding

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The game developer founded by former Wooga head of studio Henric Suuronen and Juha Paananen, who previously worked at Nokia, announced that it has secured $2.9 million in seed funding.

The round was led by Creandum and Lifeline Ventures which are also invested in Spotify and Supercell. Nonstop Games, which has offices in Singapore, Helsinki and San Francisco will use the new funding to expand its San Francisco location, continue development of free-to-play games for touch devices, and launch its first core gaming title, Heroes of Honor.

Heroes of Honor, currently the only game listed on the company’s official website, will launch later this spring. The real-time strategy game is set in a fantasy world where players will be able to build towns, units and form alliances in order to coordinate attacks.

Arkadium closes $5M in Series A funding

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Casual game developer Arkadium today revealed it has accepted $5 million in Series A minority investment from Edison Ventures. The company says it will use the new funding to increase the number of titles it develops and expand its proprietary online distribution network.

Currently, the company has 150 employees between its offices in New York, Toronto and Ukraine, and it plans to double that number in the next three years.

This is the first major investment Arkadium has announced since the company was founded in 2001. “We’ve always taken our own path” Arkadium CEO Kenny Rosenblatt told us in an interview. “We moved at out own pace. It took us years to figure it out. We were always profitable but never enough. Now we finally feel like we know how to make games and that this will be a good return on investment.”

As Inside Social Games reported in January 2012, Arkadium has a publishing deal with Microsoft Studios which sees the company developing and releasing games on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. Rosenblatt said he was happy with the deal and that he considers Windows 8 a pillar of Arkadium’s business. Four of Arkadium’s games have been within the top 10 of the Windows 8 app store for three months.

Rosenblatt was particularly excited about the touch capability of the operating system which he says “opens up the design playbook.” Arkadium’s Taptiles, for example, works with both mouse and keyboard and touch controls. Adding this feature to all future Arkadium games is a goal for the company going forward, Rosenblatt said.

Playnomics closes $5M Series B round of funding

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 6.29.20 PMPredictive analytics company Playnomics today announced it has secured $5 million in Series B funding, led by Vancouver-based Vanedge Group and also including existing investors FirstMark Capital and XSeed Capital. As a part of the investment, Vanedge Capital Principal Tony Lam will join the Playnomics board.

Playnomics has been building a name for itself with both its PlayRM Platform and PlayScience Engine, which are used by both game developers and consumer brands to increase user engagement and increase player retention/revenue. Playnomics’ partners take data scored from over 30 million monthly active players (and billions of in-game events) to group these users while providing predictive and personality scores. Using the tools in the PlayRM Platform, developers can segment and target existing players based on their in-app behavior, as well as targeting new users based on similar behavior patterns.

So far, the both PlayRM and the PlayScience Engine seem to be working to the satisfaction of Playnomics’ partners. A comprehensive list of all the company’s clients isn’t available, but we do know Playnomics is working with some big names in the social games sector like Peak Games (which has a user base larger than some social networks) and over 100 social, mobile and browser games have Playnomics’ technology integrated into them.

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Prior to this, Playnomics had raised $3 million over the past three years.  Playnomics CEO Chethan Ramachandran tells us game developers are extremely interested in the data mining capabilities of his company’s technology because, “every game has a natural audience and if you can find the natural audience for a game, then it’ll soar. We’re really focused on helping developers find that right audience —either the ones who are currently in the game and nurturing the people who are predicted to be their whales or who are predicted to highly engage— or helping them find a new audience that will be a good fit for the game.”

Likewise, Ramachandran says he’s thrilled Playnomics was able to receive funding from Vanedge, which was founded by Electronic Arts veterans Paul Lee and Glenn Entis. “It was very important to get foks who were from the industry and who get the industry,” he says. “When you’re trying to transform the economics of the industry, you want to get the people who were there before to tell you what has and hasn’t worked.”

Ramachandran tells us the money raised in this round of funding will be used to help Playnomics pursue a period of “aggressive growth” which will include adding core product features to its platform, finding good partners for its external ad network targeting and making inroads into regions like Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. While the company will keep its headquarters in San Francisco, Ramachandran does say Playnomics may set up some international sales teams outside of the United States.

“The problem we’ve seen in social and mobile games is that folks are looking at analytics on a game level,” Ramachandran notes. “They’re not looking at it on a player by player level.

“The way to make this industry really thrive over time is to give everyone with a unique idea and a unique game and a unique concept for an audience is to give them that audience. That’s our purpose in life.”

CMUNE receives DCM funding to build “the next billion dollar gaming brand”

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 9.38.34 AMUberStrike developer Cmune today announced a new (undisclosed) round of funding from venture capital group DCM’s Android fund.

In a statement, DCM General Partner Pete Moran says the new round of funding will help it “build the next billion dollar gaming brand for action games.”

Cmune’s free-to-play first-person-shooter UberStrike has launched on both Facebook and the Mac App Store so far, two platforms that (at the time) had a meager selection of titles in that genre. Since then, shooters have started to become more plentiful on both platforms, with Offensive Combat launching on Facebook, Rumble Entertainment announcing it would publish the shooter Ballistic and mainstream shooters like Rage and Borderlands 2 coming to the Mac App Store.

Shooters on mobile devices aren’t exactly new, however, and upcoming titles like ngmoco’s The Drowning and Madfinger Games’ Dead Trigger show how tablets can deliver console-like game experiences. That said, Cmune has built a name for itself by catering to platforms that were largely overlooked when it came to games for core players. Since UberStrike launched on the Mac App Store, though, the game’s garnered over a million downloads and the Facebook version is in the 1 million MAU tier.

According to Cmune CTO Shaun Lelacheur Sales, UberStrike’s success on Facebook and Mac means the company’s tablet games will be “tremendous.”

Game Insight secures $25 M investment

gameinsightSocial mobile developer Game Insight and mobile investment firm IMI.VC announced today they finalized a deal that secured Game Insight $25 million in funding.

This announcement follows several smaller investments IMI.VC has made with Game Insight over 2011 and 2012, but it’s the first time the firm has put a substantial infusion of cash into the game developer. However, IMI.VC went on the record after it received an investment of $75 million late l ast year from Michael Vinchel of Mail.Ru, saying it plans to commit these funds to improve its portfolio investments with companies like Game Insight, interactive story developer NARR8 and technology incubator Farminers.

Game Insight says the funds will be put towards improving Game Insight’s production pipeline and growing its game portfolio. On top of that, the company said it plans to broaden development resources for more than 10 of its development studios, further expand into emerging markets around the globe and increase marketing activities for its current/upcoming titles.

In a statement, Game Insight Founder and CEO Alisa Chumachenko said the new investment will help solidify the company’s position in key regions and aggressively expand into countries with emerging mobile markets.

GREE lifts the lid off $10M investment fund for mobile game developers

GREE today lifted the lid off the GREE Partners Fund, a new program where the mobile-social gaming powerhouse will be making significant equity investments in talented, independent mobile game developers in the free-to-play space.GREE logo

“From our perspective, we view [the GREE Partners Fund] as if this is going to be a long-term relationship, then we can open the kimono and share everything that we’ve learned,” says jim Ying, GREE’s new VP of developer relations and publishing.

Last year, the Tokyo-headquartered company acquired developer Funzio, who’s now developing first-party games for GREE, and invested an undisclosed amount of money in Vancouver, Canada-based IUGO Mobile and $3 million in independent mobile game studio MunkyFun. All the acquisitions and investments are part of GREE’s strategy of making significant investments in developers.

“We unofficially announced the [GREE Partners Fund] a month back with MunkyFun, Ying tells Inside Mobile Apps. “It’s the same model. We’re including it as the first recipient of the fund.”

Read the rest of this story on our sister site, Inside Mobile Apps.

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