Kongregate, which styles itself as a YouTube social network for gamers, has announced the launch of its beta test.
The company also secured seed-stage funding from angel investors, including Reid Hoffman; Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite and Richard Wolpert, an early investor in GameSpy. Kongregate offers 300 free games supplemented with chat, where players can interact with each other, and with the developers of the homebrew games. The business model is based on advertising with developers getting a share.
Hoffman said, "Kongregate is first to deliver high caliber Web 2.0 features to the gaming segment, and is quickly building an infectious community for attracting innovative game developers, advertisers and millions of game enthusiasts the world over."
Participating developers include independent studios such as Flipline Studios, maker of Papa Louie, and Pixeljam Games (Gamma Bros). It also showcases games from high school and college students, including David Silver (True Darkness) and Kevin Barrios (Buzzwerd).