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Howard Marks' Gamzee Secures $1M For HTML5 Game Development

Former Activision executive and Acclaim Games owner Howard Marks has secured $1 million in seed funding for his new venture, Gamzee, which will develop cross-platform games on the HTML5 format.
Former Activision executive and Acclaim Games owner Howard Marks has secured $1 million in seed funding for his new venture, Gamzee, which will develop cross-platform games on the HTML5 format. The Los Angeles-based company, which was founded around April of this year, was able to secure the funding from investors that include Bristol Investment Fund, former Liberty Digital CEO Jarl Mohn, Bigpoint CEO Heiko Hubertz, and Greycroft partner Paul Bricault. Developing for HTML5 could be seen as a risky venture, given that the format is still under development, but Marks sees it as an untapped opportunity. "We believe that we’re on the forefront of the next big explosion in games -- one where you can play social games with your Facebook friends on any device with a Web connection. And apparently, we’re not alone in that belief," Marks told VentureBeat. When we last heard from Marks -- a longtime game industry veteran who helped to shape the modern Activision with CEO Bobby Kotick in the early 1990s -- he was overseeing Acclaim Games following a trademark acquisition from bankrupt game publisher Acclaim Entertainment. That company, which mainly published free-to-play client-based MMOs, was acquired by Playdom, which was itself acquired by Disney, which shut the company down late last year. Marks was recently named in a case against Playdom by the Federal Trade Commission, which charged that the company illegally distributed the personal information of over 1 million children via games that were not COPPA [Children's Online Privacy Protection Act] compliant. Playdom was charged with a $3 million penalty, and is permanently barred by the FTC from violating COPPA and misrepresenting its information practices regarding children.

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