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GameGround brings gamers together for co-op and competition
Finding someone who is playing the same game that you are, at the same time that you are, can be a hassle. Even if your friends are gamers too, the odds are pretty slim. Since more and more games include a serious set of online multiplayer features, not having someone to play with can limit your game experience. So, if you are craving a live game, at 2 a.m., where will you turn?
You just might turn to GameGround, which released Wednesday a personalized gaming app with a social edge and raised some serious bank to keep you playing.
GameGround, which is based in New York, also announced that it raised $5.3 million, bringing the total amount of funds raised since opening up shop in 2008 to $11.1 million. Investors participating in this round include Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Capital, Vodafone Ventures, and Novel TMT Ventures.
The beta currently has about 10,000 people playing on the site, according to Mr. Itzik Ben-Bassat, one of the founders of the company and its current chairman, in an interview with Vator.
In addition, to helping you find a playmate, gamers can set status updates about their games. Players can "level up" on the site, based on how social they choose to be. The site will also give gamers the abiliity to take on challenges, view leaderboards, and earn rewards. Challenges include reaching levels within games, completing certain maps or meeting minimum score requirements.
GameGround is, as you may have already guessed, not the only one that is looking to break into this niche. One competitor is a company called Gamersband, which is based in France, and raised $500,000 in October of this year for a very similar service. If you think that language would prevent this company from being any direct threat, think again. The Gamersband site is available in English.
Other potential rivals to GameGround also have some serious bank behind them. Kongregate, which now has the power of GameStop behind it, Scoreloop, which raised $2.8 million in August of 2009, Aurora Feint which just raised $3 million, Papaya Mobile, which raised $4 million in June of this year and Ngmoco, which was bought by DeNA.
GameGround currently supports Web games, Facebook games and PC games, but at some point in the future, support for Xbox 360 games is expected to also be included.
Currently, the site only supports users that have Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP service pack two. Support for Mac-based users is expected at an undisclosed point in the future.
Or, as Mr. Itzik Ben-Bassat told me in his interview, they are "...looking forward to receiving feedback and delivering more features to our users. In the near future we will add XBOX support, Mac support and we hope to add mobile support in 2011."
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