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Genemation completes successful funding round

Manchester-based technology start-up Genemation has announced the completion of a successful round of funding, with a six figure sum received from investors to continue work on the firm's innovative facial synthesis and animation technology.

Designed as a middleware-style tool for the videogames sector and other digital content sectors, Genemation's tools consist of a bespoke face synthesis tool and an embedded run-time technology which is expected to debut at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March.

The firm is headed up by industry veteran John Bickley, formerly of Psygnosis and PlayStation Europe, and has already received a six figure grant from the Department of Trade and Industry.

"At a time when some parts of the video games development industry are going through major retrenchment and consolidation, and investors are increasingly hesitant about video games companies' prospects, it's heartening to be involved in a business that investors see as having leading edge technology, good commercial prospects, and very good potential for a healthy return on investment," commented Bickley.

"The UK has a long tradition of innovation and producing ground breaking technologies across many industry sectors," he continued. "I firmly believe thereâs a great future for UK companies developing 'middleware' for the video games sector, which with 'next gen' platforms is facing unprecedented technical and commercial pressures."

"Studios cannot go on exponentially increasing the size and funding of their teams, nor can they afford to keep developing their own propriety tools in the face of dedicated third party offers. Studios and their publishers need to de-risk projects and focus on developing great game designs and game play, using bespoke 'middleware' solutions to underpin their delivery. EA's recent purchase of Criterion (RenderWare) sends a clear signal that 'middleware' will play an increasingly important role in the development pipeline," he concluded.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.