PlayFirst gets funding; joins online game fray

Three industry veterans, as well as two VC firms with experience in enterprise software, networking and communications technology, are putting $5 million on the line starting today, betting that a new business model in the online game space will find traction with underserved markets. The three vets--Brad Edelman, Jason Rubinstein, and John Welch (pictured, from left)--are bringing their past business experience with Macromedia, Ubisoft, and Shockwave, respectively, to the fore with start-up PlayFirst, a company they define as one that will bring games from "a new model of online game publishing" into the lives of a still-untapped casual marketplace.

"We're going beyond the hardcore gamer," Welch said in statement to be released to the media later this morning. "We want to reach families, women, and new audiences with games that are easy to play and fun."

A first round of funding has been secured from VC firms Mayfield and Trinity Ventures. In a public display of confidence, Gus Tai, general partner of Trinity Ventures said in the statement, "if anyone has the know-how to make the enjoyment of games as simple and broad as going to the movies or buying music, this is the team to do it."

The new company--with Welch on board as CEO, Edelman assuming the CTO rank, and Rubinstein tapping the title vice president of marketing and business development--is planning to launch its first games later this year.

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News source: GameSpot

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