GamesBeat

Game and virtual world fundings reach $936.8 million in 2008

This is a second update to our game and virtual worlds funding list. Here we’re adding new data from Jussi Laakkonen’s blog. Previously, we had updated to include data from Virtual World Management’s list, so the number is much bigger than we reported earlier.

In 2008, VentureBeat chronicled lots of game and virtual world fundings. Our updated list now shows 112 game companies raised more than $936.8 million worth of venture capital and angel funds. This amount doesn’t include undisclosed fundings listed at the bottom. In 2007, game and virtual world companies raised $613 million, according to Jussi Laakkonen.

The amount going into game companies is nothing compared to the $4.1 billion that went into U.S. deals for clean tech, according to the National Venture Capital Association. But it’s certainly a big chunk of the $2 billion that went into 407 media and entertainment companies in 2008.  It’s probably one of the biggest years for venture investment in video game companies. Many of these companies may shut down because of the recession. In fact, Sun Inc. filed for bankruptcy. But the successful ones will create revenues, profits and jobs in the years ahead. We’ve ranked them here in order of the amount of money raised and linked to our coverage of them. Fundings where the amounts weren’t made public are listed at the end. If you’ve heard of others, please note in the comments and we’ll add to the list.

1. 9You – $100 million for virtual entertainment community

2. BigFish Games — $83 million for casual downloadable games

3. Trion World Network — $70 million for online multiplayer server games. (The company is working with the Sci-Fi channel on an episodic online game that ties into a TV show and has other titles in the works too.)

4. Real Time Worlds — $50 million for online games such as All Points Bulletin

5. Turbine, maker of the Lord of the Rings Online — $40 million for massively multiplayer online games

6. G10 online game company — $38 million from China’s The9

7. Zynga — $29 million for social games

8. GoFish — $22.9 million youth-oriented ad network with focus on virtual worlds

9. PrimeSense – $20.4 million for gesture-control 3D cameras

10. Oberon — $20 million for casual/mobile games

11. Playfish — $17 million for social games

12. GameDuell — $17 million for skill-based games

13. Playspan — $16.8 million for virtual goods platform

14. NGI Group — $15.7 million for Japanese virtual world

15. Nurien Software — $15 million for fashion-oriented social online game

16. Social Gaming Network — $15 million for Facebook and other social games

17. IGG — $14.5 million in two rounds for casual massively multiplayer online games

18. Ukash – $14.4 million for virtual world payment systems

19. Expresso Fitness — $14 million for its virtual cycling exercise bikes

20. Play Hard Sports — $13 million for casual online sports games

21. SouthPeak Interactive — $12.9 million for indie games

22. Raptr – $12 million for gamer social network

23. Gaia Online — $11 million for casual massively multiplayer online game

24. ICG – $10 million for casual massively multiplayer online game

25. Unisfair – $10 million for virtual events

26. Challenge Games — $10 million for web-based online role-playing and sports games

27. FooMojo — $9.9 million for virtual pets

28. World Golf Tour — double-digit millions for golf simulation

29. Bigfoot Networks — $8.75 million for game networking hardware

30. Crispy Gamer — $8.25 million for irreverent game news and reviews site

31. Grockit — $8 million for online learning game

32. ON24 — $8 million for virtual events

33. Heatwave Interactive — $7.5 million to improve online game production

34. Riot Games — $7 million for quick-hit online games

35. Playlogic — $7 million for indie games

36. Monte Cristo Games – $7 million for mirror world online game

37. Six Degrees Games gets $7 million for kids sports games

38. EveryScape — $7 million for mirror world

39. Kadoink — $7 million middleware for virtual worlds

40. Metaplace — $6.7 million for web-based virtual world

41. Gizmoz – $6.5 million for avatar-based social network

42. iOpener — $6 million for mixed reality racing

43. Hangout Industries — $6 million for virtual rooms

44. Conduit Labs — $5.5 million; reveals LoudCrowd

45. Novint — $5.2 million for user-interface peripherals

46. Robotgalaxy — $5 million for virtual world

47. Ngmoco — $5 million for iPhone games; makes a splash with its game launches

48. Hollywood Interactive — $5 million for site with celebrity-oriented games for women

49. RocketOn — $5 million for parallel web games and social network

50. IGA Worldwide – $5 million for in-game advertising

51. Popjax — $4.7 million for web quiz show games

52. Young Internet — $4.7 million for kids virtual world
53. Booyah — $4.5 million for iPhone games

54. Sparkplay Media — $4.5 million for 3-D browser-based games

55. LOLapps — $4.5 million for tools for social apps

56. Twofish — $4.5 million for virtual goods business

57. IGG – $4.5 million for massively multiplayer online game

58. Playdo — $4.3 million for kids virtual world

59. Sparkplay Media — $4.25 million massively multiplayer online game with social network

60. Webcarzz — $4 million for online car racing game world for boys

61. Bunchball — $4 million for platform for making game-like web sites

62. Serious Business — $4 million for social games

63. Machinima — $3.85 million for game fan videos

64. FlowPlay — $3.7 million for teen games

65. Wix — $3.5 million for Flash-based virtual world

66. Three Rings — $3.5 million for online virtual-goods based games

67. Fluid Entertainment — $3.2 million for kids’ online games

68. C3L3B — $3 million for casual games

69. Kongregate — $3 million for user-generated games site.

70. GamerDNA — $3 million for social networking game site

71. Lumos Labs — $3 million for brain games

72. WeGame – $3 million for game fan videos site

73. Playfish — $3 million for social gaming

74. Seasky – $3 million for virtual world development

75. Caspian Learning — $2.8 million for browser-based learning games

76. Taatu – $2.6 million for teen and young adult virtual world

77. Mpowerplayer — $2.5 million for mobile gaming

78. Alamofire — $2 million for casual games

79. Fixate — $2 million for virtual characters

80. Akoha — $1.9 million for social games

81. Simmersion – $1.9 million for Mycosm virtual world

82. Sun – $1.8 million for virtual world development (filed for bankruptcy)

83. Nonoba — $1.7 million for casual games platform

84. Ball-it — $1.5 million for game-interface technology

85. Iminlikewithyou – $1.5 million for social games (now named OMGPOP)

86. Gamook — $1.5 million for online games

87. Shidonni — $1.5 million; launches drawing site for kids

88. Atomic Moguls — $1 million for fantasy sports games

89. Jambool — $1 million for virtual goods platform for social games

90. Virtual Tweens — $1 million for green virtual world for kids

91. Casual Collective — $1 million and launches Flash games

92. Dizzywood — $1 million for kids’ online games

93. 8D — $1 milion for online fantasy world

94. Rebel Monkey — $1 million for casual games

95. Numedeon – $1 million for Whyville and SportsBlox games

96. Handipoints — $800,000 for kid-based virtual world

97. Ray Flame Entertainment — $800,000 for fantasy online games

98. Chapatiz — $530,000 for virtual world development

99. Second Interest – $500,000 for virtual world development

100. Worlds.com – $481,000 for virtual world development

101. Metaverse Mod Squad — $200,000 for virtual world technology

102. Kirkland North — $200,000 for online strategy game

103. Sabi spins out of Microsoft to do educational games that bring drawings to life

104. MindFuse raises money for online massively multiplayer online games

105. Club Cooee — undisclosed amount for 3-D chat games

106. Digini raises undisclosed amount for game-creation tools

107. Eximion — undisclosed amount for web games platform

108. OGPlanet of Korea raises undisclosed amount for online game importing

109. Metaversum — undisclosed amount for virtual worlds depicting real cities

110. Meteor Games is started by Neopets founders to create new online gaming world

111. Northworks — undisclosed amount for browser-based games

112. Yoowalk — undisclosed amount for 3D web venture

Please check out our link to VentureBeat’s inaugural game conference, GamesBeat 09, on March 24.

Also, see our top 20 game stories of 2008:

The top 10 iPhone games of 2008.

The 10 most-anticipated games of 2009.

Dean’s top 10 picks of the holiday season.


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