Gamers’ social service Xfire has secured $4 million in funding, led by Intel Capital, and is splitting from its parent company Titan Gaming. This is the second significant change for Xfire in slightly over a year: Titan bought Xfire from Viacom in 2010 for significantly less than the $102 million deal that put Xfire into Viacom’s portfolio in 2006.
Xfire also announced the executive team that will lead the company against strong competition from Valve Corp.’s Steam, which offers many of the same social features that have attracted more than 19 million users to Xfire. Mark Donovan will serve as president, Juston Brommel as chief marketing officer, and Autumn Radtke as director of business development.
Among Xfire’s popular features not available elsewhere are tools for social sharing, like live game broadcasting, friends and status lists, and the ability to capture in-game action and add it to a player’s profile. It also enables players to chat and talk with friends from inside 2,300 PC games, and to discover new games in an social context.
The current most popular game in the Xfire community is World of Warcraft, followed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Counter-Strike: Source, Battlefield 2, and Heroes of Newerth.
“Think of Xfire as Facebook meets Skype for gamers,” Donovan said. “This round of capital is allowing us to make many enhancements starting with an entirely new look for the Xfire website and chat application. Intel Capital’s funding will help us take what is already the leader in the space to the next level by continuing to build the team and quickly iterating on our product.”
The new investors join Tomorrow Ventures, Clearstone Venture Partners principals William Quigley and Jim Armstrong, PriceGrabber co-founder Kamran Pourzanjani, and serial entrepreneur Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com, Linspire, Gizmo5 and MP3tunes.