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U.K.-based game graphics company Image Metrics has picked up $6.5 million in funding from Saffron Hill Ventures, VentureBeat reports. Image Metrics focuses on making the faces within video games look and move realistically, which has become increasingly important given the advanced graphics capabilities of consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3 (not to mention PC games). The company’s technology has been featured in about eight titles from Rockstar Games (developer of the Grand Theft Auto franchise), Harmonix’ Rock Band 2, and in Sony’s upcoming God of War 3 game.
VentureBeat notes that Image Metrics has struggled with shifts in the chief executive slot this past year. Mike Starkenberg joined as COO in February, then took the reins as CEO in August, replacing Andy Wood. Starkenberg said the company has narrowed its focus to just games (as opposed to working on movie and game graphics like rival Mova, which worked on The Incredible Hulk movie), and is working with partners on more than 40 new titles. Dave Rolston, Chairman and CEO of business-facing virtual world developer Forterra Systems joined Image Metrics’ board in May.