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Destineer secures USD 12 million investment

Serious games developer Destineer has secured a new investment of USD 12 million from private equity firm The Exxel Group, to be utilised for the development of unannounced PC and console titles.

Serious games developer Destineer has secured a new investment of USD 12 million from private equity firm The Exxel Group, to be utilised for the development of unannounced PC and console titles.

Minneapolis-based Destineer was established by former Bungie Studios exec Peter Tampte in 2001, and is currently headed up by Tampte and former Atari SVP Paul Rinde. The company's Destineer brand focuses on the development of highly realistic advanced virtual training simulations for government, intelligence organisations and the military, such as First To Fight, which has been adopted by the US Marine Corps for training purposes.

Additional brands under the firm's banner include a PC-based retail label for titles including the Unreal Engine game Red Orchestra, MacSoft, which develops Mac versions of popular PC titles including Halo and Zoo Tycoon 2, and Atomic, which is the developer of First to Fight and is currently working on RTS title called Red Phoenix.

Rather than seeking investment from traditional videogames publishers or venture firms with an interest in the commercial videogames sector, Destineer's specialist focus on serious games has led the company to look further afield for its funding, previously gaining investment in 2005 from the C.I.A. funded venture capitalist firm In-Q-Tel.

"The venture capitalists of the video game industry have traditionally been the large publishers, because they're the ones who have funded most game development until now. But, this new trend of private-equity firms investing in the games industry gives creative companies like Destineer much more flexibility to make games the established publishers are less likely to create," commented Destineer CEO Paul Rinde.

The company plans to use the latest funding from Exxel to develop a number of hybrid game/serious game PC and console titles, and to further expand its current distribution network and product development operations into Latin America.

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