Dragonvest funds Chinese gaming developer

Dragonvest Partners has invested $1.5 million in a Series-A round in a Chinese game development and outsourcing company to expand its international operations and Shanghai studio.

Dragonvest Partners, an early stage China-focused venture capital firm with a presence in the US, has invested $1.5 million in Ultizen Games, a game developer and outsourcing company based in Shanghai.

Ultizen has clients in North America, Europe and Japan, and produces console games for both traditional platforms and the new platforms from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, according to a statement. It has a 150-person studio and is in the final stages of designing its first title for the X-Box console.

Ultizen, which also produces and distributes its own game platform to Chinese websites, plans to offer mobile game development and outsourcing in the second half of 2008.

Jesse Parker, a co-founder and co-managing general partner of Dragonvest, will join Ultizen’s board of directors with this series A investment, to assist the company in launching its services across China.

Dragonvest is investing from a fund it expects to close in a couple of months. The firm, which has offices in Shanghai and Beijing, is targeting about $30 million.