Game startup investment down 36 per cent in 2009

$600.5m raised this year, down on $936.8m in 2008
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The amount of VC and independent funding supporting games startups fell 36 per cent in 2009.

$600.5m was raised by games companies this year, down on the $936.8m raised in 2008.

That's according to a report on VentureBeat, which has tallied all of this year's big VC investments in new and growing games companies.

Author Dean Takahashi wrote: "Clearly, valuations were down because of the recession. Were it not for Zynga’s big raise, 2009 would have been an abysmal year, down 55 percent from a year ago. This year, the average amount raised was $6.2 million, while last year it was $8.3 million.

"These fundings mean lots of innovation ahead and continued employment for game industry veterans. We know not all of these companies will last. But the successful ones will create revenues, profits and jobs in the years ahead."

The top ten investments (in terms of publicly announced value) were: Zynga — $180 million; Playdom – $43 million; Smith & Tinker — $29 million; PopCap Games — $22.5 million; Zula — $20 million; Zynga — $15.2 million; Offerpal Media — $15 million; Emergent Game Technologies — $12.5 millio; gWallet — $12.5 million; SendMe – $12 million.

The full list of 97 investments can be found over at VentureBeat's Games channel.