Blade Games, the result of last month’s merger between developer tool provider Digini and game outsourcing company Vyk Games, has raised $4 million in a first round of funding led by California Technology Ventures.

The new entity provides a video game development platform, called Blade3D; an online store called the Blade3D Marketplace for developers to sell intellectual property and game features to their peers; and an outsourcing division inherited from Vyk.

Based in Bellevue, Wash., Blade claims its tools and services help developers do their work quicker and cheaper — citing the $14.95 low-end monthly price tag on Blade3D as a major advantage for beginning developers and hobbyists who can’t afford the more expensive tools available. Ultimately, lowering the price of development should foster richer, more creative games from a wider variety of sources, the company says.

Blade3D is subscription based, and provides a suite of design and programming tools said to fit the bill for individual designers as well as large professional teams. Because it works with the Microsoft XNA platform, Blade3D allows users to easily publish their games to Xbox 360 and Windows. The price of the package varies from $14.95 a month for hobbyists to $29.95 for independent developers to $99.95 a month for professionals. Game artwork that is outsourced via Blade is routed to its Chinese office for a variable fee.

Both Digini and Vyk had been backed by California Technology Ventures in the past. China Seed Ventures also contributed to Vyk. The new company, which is really just a complementary fusion of the two former firms, has 175 employees, 130 of them hailing from Vyk.