SOURCE: Play Hard Sports

April 23, 2008 10:13 ET

Play Hard Sports Officially Launches and Secures $5 Million in Venture Funding

Former Turbine CEO Starts Online Sports Gaming Network

FOXBORO, MA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - Play Hard Sports, Inc., the first studio in North America to exclusively develop, publish, and distribute casual sports games and content over the Internet, today announced the company's official launch as well as a Series A round of funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Jeffrey Anderson, the former President and CEO of Turbine, Inc., announced the formation of his new online gaming company after months of industry speculation.

"Play Hard is an exciting opportunity for sports fans of every age who are looking for something new to play," said Jeffrey Anderson, the founder and CEO of Play Hard Sports, Inc. "Online games continue to change the way that people interact, and Play Hard is the newest evolution in sports. Our online games will free players from the couch, allowing them play nearly whenever and wherever they want."

Play Hard's formation comes at a critical time for football fans across North America. On April 1, 2008, Electronic Arts announced its decision to forego development of its Madden franchise for the PC, leaving an enormous hole in the marketplace -- one that Play Hard is ready to fill with its Internet PC sports titles.

In addition to the company's launch, Play Hard announced today that it has secured $5 million in a Series A equity financing from NEA. In conjunction with the financing, Harry Weller, a partner at NEA, will join the company's Board of Directors. Mr. Weller's current board memberships include Availink, Echo Global, Informance, Leadtone, LianLian, Realtime Worlds and Suniva. His prior board seats include SourceFire and Vonage.

"NEA is one of the few venture capital firms that really understand online gaming and Harry Weller is an incredibly talented partner," said Anderson. "We are very fortunate to have their support in this exciting opportunity."

"Jeff and his team have a very successful track record in building great online games," said Weller. "Play Hard Sports has the vision and experience to become a major contender in the sports media world."


Play Hard Sports, Inc. (Play Hard) is the first casual sports network in North America focused exclusively on developing, publishing and distributing exceptional sports games and entertainment across the Internet. Headquartered in the shadow of the world-famous football stadium at Foxboro, Massachusetts, Play Hard is creating the next-generation in online sports with no massive download, no long waiting for the game to load, and no required fees to play. Play Hard provides its audience with high-quality sports titles that can be played almost anywhere and anytime. For more information, visit


New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs create and build major new enterprises that use technology to improve the way we live, work and play. Since its founding in 1978, the firm has followed the same core principles: supporting its entrepreneurs, providing an excellent return to its limited partners, and practicing its profession with the highest standards and respect. Through its affiliated funds, NEA focuses on investments at all stages of a company's development, from seed stage through IPO. With approximately $8.5 billion in committed capital, NEA's experienced management team has invested in over 550 companies, of which more than 160 have gone public and more than 230 have been acquired. NEA has U.S. offices in Chevy Chase, Maryland; Menlo Park, California; and Baltimore, Maryland. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has an office in Bangalore, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing) Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit

Play Hard, the "H," and QuickHit are trademarks of Play Hard Sports, Inc. in the United States or other jurisdictions. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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