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Strange new game analysis service launched

Following a major investment from NorthStar Equity Investors, Strange Agency Ltd. is to develop a range of new products and services that offer in-depth analyses of games from early on in their development life-cycle.

The Middlesbrough-based firm is a spinout company from the University of Teesside, and has been conducting research into the psychology of gameplaying for a number of years.

Now it will use the 'Proof of Concept Fund' investment from NorthStar to develop its new software product, which is slated to appear on the market by the middle of next year.

In addition, this summer will see the launch of a new consultancy-based service. Strange Agency hopes to target both developers and publishers wishing to evaluate how their games will be received by the market.

"NorthStar's whole approach was excellent, we had a long conversation with their people and they took the time to get to know and understand our business and make recommendations about how to best take it forward," said Strange Agency MD Clive Fencott.

"We were actually writing a textbook. As academics we didn't fully appreciate the commercial potential of our ideas, talking to NorthStar helped us to appreciate the scale of what we are dealing with," he continued.

"We are very excited about the future and delighted with the funding and the business advice we received from NorthStar."

Alex Buchan, fund manager for NorthStar, added: "Many hi-tech companies have fantastic ideas, but they are not market-ready. No business wants to rush to market to raise funds before the product is really ready, through the proof of concept fund we are able to step in at this difficult stage and bridge the gap."

Strange Agency currently employs four members of staff and plans to create two more technical posts this year.

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Ellie Gibson: Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.