Andrew Busey has been a part of some key web technologies over the past 15 years, such as Mosaic (the first web browser) and iChat (one of the first IM apps). He also co-founded Pluck. Yet, Busey’s passion is gaming. So, a couple years ago, he started a new company in the space: Challenge Games.
In fact, this week the firm raised $4.5 million from Sequoia Capital (keep in mind that the firm has invested in such break-out companies like Atari, Electronic Arts and nVidia). The venture capitalist on the deal, Roelof Botha, learned about the company while playing its popular title, Duels.
Basically, Challenge Games focuses on web-based short-form games, which can be played in three-to-ten minute increments. The goal is to create content that appeals to the casual gaming and the hardcore player.
To this end, it helps to partner with major brands. In fact, Challenge Games has struck a multi-year deal with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to launch a new game, Baseball Boss. This title involves a blend of baseball card collecting and fantasy sports activities. Monetization comes from buying and selling virtual goods.
Actually, with the capital infusion, Challenge plans to launch a new game every quarter, which is a smart strategy. Basically, it looks like casual gaming is getting traction. After all, Duels has snagged 250,000 loyal users in ten months.