BizSpots: Telltale, iGames, GameShadow, Merscom

Sam and Max developer finds investors; iGames now leasing computers; patching service raises $490K; casual gamers under scrutiny.

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Telltale gets $6 million in investment funds
With its first season of Sam and Max in the can, Telltale isn't sitting back on its haunches. The company announced today it has secured $6 million in funding from venture capital firms Granite Ventures and IDG Venture SF. Telltale, which specializes in episodic content, will use the funds for new titles and personnel, as well as expansion into multiplatform development. Of the investment, Telltale's CEO and cofounder Dan Connors said, "This funding will allow us to stay on the cutting edge of innovation by building out our team and our tools, and by taking on new licenses for the episodic treatment."

iGames now offering gaming-center leases
Internet cafes have been attributed as a key factor in spurring game-industry growth abroad, and iGames is hoping to help expand the market in the US. The Mountain View, California-based company announced today the launch of iGames System Solutions, which offers a leasing program to aid in the start up or refurbishment of gaming-center locations. Leasing packages include 10, 20, 50, or 100 systems, and gaming-center owners can choose between low-, mid-, and high-level performance setups. iGames also touted its list of hardware-provider partners, which includes Intel, Nvidia, and Western Digital, among others.

GameShadow injected with £250K
Last year, game-recommendation and automated-patching service GameShadow did away with subscriptions for regular subscribers, relying instead on an advertisement-supported business model. Citing a desire to expedite its growth, the company today announced it had received £250,000 (approximately $493,500) in investment funds, and that it had reached a registered user base of 750,000. GameShadow plans to use the funds to expand its team and to develop new features for the service. Nicholas Lovell, CEO of GameShadow commented, "Going free last year transformed GameShadow, and our new funding enables us to execute our growth strategy quickly."

Merscom exploring casual-gamer behavior
Tapping into the casual market has been on a lot of companies to-do lists as of late. Casual-game publisher Merscom today announced it will partner with Internet game center GameFrog to distribute six of its casual games. The purpose of the partnership is to study the retail behavior of casual-game buyers, with help from behavioral scientists at MIT, Duke, and Vanderbilt University. Merscom plans to use the data it collects to better inform its decisions on which casual games might find the most success in a retail environment, as well as to determine ideal packaging and store placement.

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