Wedge Buster Closes Series A Funding as it Launches a set of Social Media Games

Wedge Busters

While looking into RocketPlay, a company that has started developing gaming apps for social media I also started looking around for others in this field since it is relatively new and seems to offer a great deal of opportunity.

Enter Wedge Buster, a startup formed last year and based in Los Angeles that has just closed its first round of funding which will give it a $2.2 million cash infusion and which already has its site up and running.

Wedge Buster is focusing on two different but related areas, sports gaming and fantasy sports, and will be presenting its offerings on two related but different platforms, social media and mobile platforms.

The Series A funding round has some interesting investors including NFL quarterback Drew Brees, pro skater Rob Dyrdek, 37 Venture Technologies as well as some angel investors that the company said include players in the gaming and media industry. The company said that it will use the funding to speed game development, support marketing strategies and expand the distribution gaming network with media companies.

It already has a stable of games at or near a stage where they can be played by users. It has ether developed or acquired 100 games and since its launch earlier this week has a number of games already available.

Among the games is Soccer Trouble, Around the World Darts, WB Striker, WB Footy and a number of others that span everything from baseball to sharpshooting. Currently in the fantasy space it has four offerings including one where it offers a Fantasy Football Commissioner with SI and Turner. The company is now launching on Facebook and expects to soon be launching on Android and Apple phones as well in the near future.

The potential of this space appears to be huge. Earlier this year Juniper Research said that overall, games and infotainment in the mobile space is expected to become a $65 billion market by 2016 due to the growing move to mobile devices.

Wedge Buster claims that others are missing the value that social media offers, but are they? Also are the barriers to entry that high that established Internet players cannot quickly enter? I think the answer to both of these is no.

In the area of Fantasy sports look at RotoWire, which has a presence on Facebook as well as on the Internet and mobile apps as well. Its rivals also have followed suit. Then players like Zynga have entered this type of social games with its first partnership.

Others are sure to follow since this is obviously a growth area and so established players in the gaming field such as EA Sports see opportunity here. That said with its broad based approach, having so many games that can appeal to a wide, diverse audience will certainly place Wedge Buster in a good position right from the start.

Friday Grab Bag: Samsung News, New World Cup Mascot, Windows 8 Tablet Tidbits

World Cup 2014

Oddly I never think of an armadillo when I think of Brazil, yet in just a few years fans will be flocking to the country to watch the 2014 World Cup and no doubt will be inundated with images of the new World Cup mascot, an armadillo.

FIFA unveiled the mascot, which it has not yet completely ruined by giving it some cute name, Monday with the assistance of Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldo. Don’t worry, they are unveiling its official name in November.

Twitch gets a $15 million investment for eSports broadcasting has received a $15 million investment that is intended to help the company expand its eSports live streaming capabilities. The money, which came from venture capital investment firm Bessemer Venture Partners, will be used to expand its engineering team.

This is the company’s third round of funding, bringing its total to $23 million, with the last being a $8 million round in 2007 when the company was known as It received a small seed funding in 2007.

Samsung strikes back at the iPhone
Samsung has said that it plans to add Apple’s just released iPhone 5 to its existing patent lawsuit that it has with its rival. The move has been expected as the company said that if Apple included LTE Samsung believed that the technology would likely violate its extensive patent holdings in that area.

Hopefully this will go better than Samsung’s Facebook campaign, where it asked which smartphone a user would like to have if stranded on a desert island. The Apple faithful flooded the site and voted for the iPhone.

However on a brighter note the company has landed a major deal with American Airlines that calls for the airline to equip 17,000 flight attendants with the Samsung Galaxy Note, according to CIO.

StubHub out Ticketmaster in for MLB?
A report from the New York Post is claiming that Ticketmaster is seeking to replace StubHub as the office site to resell your MLB tickets. According to the piece the deal between MLB and StubHub has expired and there is pressure from several teams to switch.

The reason for the switch is pretty obvious; you can get discounted tickets for top teams at StubHub, while Ticketmaster has a reputation of piling on charges and raising the price. Teams like the Yankees want their seats sold at a higher price.

Intel gets first marquee Atom smartphone user in Motorola
Motorola Mobility has unveiled its Razr I smartphone, its first that is powered by Intel’s 2GHz Atom Z2460 processor. The phone features a 4.3 inch display that can use its entire area, displaying images from border to border.

Among its other features are an 8 MP camera, the ability to start up in one second, NFC and the screen has a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. No pricing was announced at the rollout.

Anti-Japan protests lead to Intel Extreme Masters tournament cancellation in China
The latest round of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament was scheduled to take place in a few days in Guangzhou, China at the Anime Comics and Game Show has been canceled due to anti-Japanese protests, organizers have said.

The protests, sparked over a fight between Japan and China over a set of islands has led to the cancelation of a large number of Japanese vendors at the show.

More details on Surface Tablet from Microsoft
Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer told the Seattle Times that company would be pricing the device in the same price range as Apple’s iPad rather than in the area that Amazon and Google are seeking to carve out at the low end.

This is not really a surprise since Amazon and Google are positioning their tablets as front end devices that will be used to purchase additional goods and services from the company, and are selling the tablets at cost. The range that Microsoft is looking at is from $300 to between $700-$800.

Leaked pricing on the pending Asus tablet, according to a report from ZDNet, is that it will be even pricier, coming in at $599, $799 and $1,299 depending on model and features. The most expensive is expected to have an 11.6 HD display.

Google asks ITC to ban wide array of Apple products

The International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate alleged patent violations by Apple based on charges brought by Google. Google is claiming that Apple is violated a number of patents that came to the company via its Motorola Mobility purchase. It is also asking the ITC to ban all Mac OS X computers, all iPads and most iPhones.

Microsoft wins a round in patent battles
Microsoft has earned a victory in its patent battle with Motorola in a lower regional German court that ruled that Motorola has infringed on a Microsoft patent that relates to text input. Motorola is expected to appeal in the case.

The ruling could result in both the banning of select Motorola smartphones as well as unspecified damages if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Game Fixing in eSports? Say it Ain’t So!

League of Legends

All of the gamers that I know are fiercely competitive, and would destroy their grandmother (figuratively) if it meant that they could advance to the next level or open up new capabilities and so I was shocked at the news that came out of the Summer Championships from last weekend.

Major League Gaming, the tournament organizer, has revoked the titles and prize money that had previously awarded to the top two teams in the League of Legends tournament, accusing the teams of colluding in the first round.

While the MLG did not spell out exactly how the two teams colluded, it has been speculated that they played an easy version of the game in order to manipulate the rankings for later in the tournament, which ended up having these two teams face each other for the championship.

If this sounds familiar a similar collusion occurred during the recently concluded Summer Olympics with the badminton teams. In the MLG case, the teams still played to win, it is just that they manipulated the system, a move that violates both the rules and the ethics of the MLG.

They have both agreed with the ruling, at least in part, as has Riot Games the developer of League of Legends. The top two positions in the tournament will be vacated, with no team winning those places, but the third and fourth places finishers will get their points and awards.


Major League Gaming Summer Championships Start Tonight

Major League Gaming

If you are a top gamer and are looking for glory then this weekend the place you should be is in Raleigh, North Carolina when the Major League Gaming Summer Championships start today with winners crowned at the end of the three day event.

There will be four different games all of which will be broadcast and you can look on the web site here to see what times and streams the game that you might be interested in will be playing. The first of the games starts with StarCraft II followed by League of Legends, Mortal Kombat and Soul Calibur V.

The StarCraft II tournament will have both Group play and a huge open bracket and will be playing for a total of $76,000 in prize money. The other matches will include the top competitors from the past season as well as some hopefuls that believe they can come out on top, Played on a PS3 gamers are vying for $16,700 in prize money in each of the games.

The MLG Pro Circuit has four full seasons that are each followed by a championship tournament. While players can compete over the course of the season online in a number of events, to play in the championships a player or team must be present.

This year the MLG signed an exclusive deal with CBS Interactive that made CBS Interactive the exclusive online broadcaster of the Pro Circuit. There is a good deal of speculation that CBS will broadcast events, or at least the fall championship going forwards.

StarCraft II

The games can and do change over the course of the year. For the spring championships players had StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, League of Legends, Mortal Kombat 9, Soul Calibur V as well as The King of Fighters XIII. The online viewership reached 4.7 million unique viewers and had 20,000 fans in attendance in Anaheim. The fall event will take place in Dallas on Nov.2-4.

If you attend the current championships and have a good story or images drop me a line at and maybe we can get it into a future piece.