Game-related startup companies raised $600 million throughout 2009, according to GamesBeat's analysis. And while $600 million is a lot of money if you're, say, trying to sell a shooter based on the art of modern warfare, it's not quite that much when you're an up-and-coming game developer. Total investments in the field were actually down by 36% since last year. That's not a bubble bursting, but it does mean that startup investors might be a little more careful with their money in the year to come.

The biggest winners in the scene include Zynga, makers of Mafia Wars and a few other popular Facebook titles, who nabbed a big $180 million investment from a Russian technology company, and Playdom. You may not have played Sorority Life, the company's MySpace hit, but Lightspeed Venture Partners must have, because it invested $43 million in the company. If there's a theme here, it's social networking and online games: PopCap is probably the highest traditional game developer on the list, but even its $22.5 million investment was marked for putting its games on the web, mobile platforms, and social networks. Of course, that pull doesn't include the buck we gave them for Peggle.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.