Play Hard Sports Raises $5 Million First Round For Casual Online Sports Games

Play Hard Sports, a start-up games studio with a casual sports bent, has raised a $5 million first round from New Enterprise Associates. The Foxboro, MA-based company argues that by going after the sports niche online, it’s entering an area that’s been vacated by sports game developers focusing on the console. Play Hard is helmed by Jeffrey Anderson, the former founder and CEO of Turbine inc, a MMO developer. Release.

Boston Globe: “Play Hard plans to offer games free at a website that will launch in the fall. The site will be supported by advertisements, but Anderson plans to offer an ad-free version to users who pay an undetermined subscription fee. The company will begin by offering a football simulation game, with plans to eventually add baseball, basketball, and other sports. Players will be able to create their own teams and pit them against other gamers via the Internet. “I can go online, find people of similar skills and abilities, and play them immediately,” said Anderson.”