hours of warSauma Technologies, the developer and publisher of browser-based Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), secures EUR 500,000 (USD 685,000) funding from Finnish state agencies Tekes and Finnvera, as well as the Nordic Game Program.

Sauma CEO Andreas von Koskull says “We are very proud of having secured seed funding for our game platform and our first self-published game “Hours of War”, a war simulation strategy MMO game, despite the global finance crisis […]”

Securing funding is not a minor task in anysituation, but it’s good to remember that the liquidity crisis hardly affects Tekes or Finnvera, which are both government run institutions with annual budgets that do not follow the market sentiments. If anything they would’ve probably been designed to act as counter cyclical stabilizers if the sructure would’ve allowed it. When you find a private investor for yourself it is relatively easy to get VeraVenture funding, which is operating under Finnvera. And once you get that deal sealed, you’re good to go talk to Tekes who will normally double your money with their support. And it seems that Nordic Ministers for Culture, representing Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, are financially behind the Nordic Game Platform.

Having said that, securing funding is always a major feat for a startup and we want to congratulate the great people at Sauma for pulling this off. The game that the funding was granted for, Hours of War, MMO, a social network and a rich-media gaming experience, played through the Web browser, will be introduced in early Q1. During 2009 the Sauma team plans to expand the mass-niche war strategy franchise “Hours of War” to other platforms, as well as to develop other game franchises with a focus on a more casual audience.

The business models for the games vary but include free-to-play, monthly subscription, pay per play, micro-transactions as well as advertising revenue models, depending on the game and game audience. The browser-based MMO game industry is growing rapidly, combining a rich gaming experience with social networks.  According to Sauma the massively multiplayer online games market in large is currently standing at EUR 1.6 billion.