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Industry veterans launch new online game publishing firm

A trio of industry veterans from Ubisoft, Macromedia and AtomShockwave have joined forces to launch a new online games publisher - which plans to release its first titles before the end of the year.

Called FirstPlay, the firm has already attracted $5 million in first round funding from institutional venture capital companies Mayfield and Trinity Ventures, and is based in San Francisco.

John Welch, CEO at the new company, was formerly at AtomShockwave, and was instrumental in the development of Shockwave.com, a leading games portal, while CTO Brad Edelman was a key innovator behind applications such as Macromedia Flash, Shockwave and Adobe PageMill.

Vice president of marketing and business development Jason Rubenstein, meanwhile, comes from a more traditional games industry background - having formerly worked at Ubisoft.

"The online game industry is still at its dawn," according to Welch. "Our management team is bringing a new model of publishing to what we see as an emerging market: popular games. With strong capital, expertise, technology and a focus on this market, PlayFirst plans to bring the best gameplay to all online consumer entertainment platforms - starting with Internet downloads."

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