Augmented reality game developer and publisher Ogmento this morning announced that it has secured the first $3.5 million of venture capital funding for development. The exciting news? That means the company is hiring. "The key thing is really we're looking to partner, and hire folks, so we'd love to get that word out," Ogmento co-founder Ori Inbar told us in a phone interview earlier today. "What we do is we go after people that we've either known for many years or people that have passion about augmented reality, and have good experience in game design or art. It's a lot about passion."
But that first round of funding won't just go to expanding the still nascent company's New York (R&D) and LA (development) offices with passionate people -- Inbar told us Ogmento plans on using part to release a few titles this year, "leading on mobile." That said, he was also happy to talk about possible console developments in the future. "Sony's EyeToy camera is basically enabling a whole set of augmented reality games ... and Project Natal will enable something similar. Then of course there is the DSi/3DSi and PSP platforms which are already embracing AR. When you see a game like LittleBigPlanet include AR into its development, you know this is a technology with some serious potential."
Ogmento is currently composed of eight employees, including industry veterans Brian Selzer ("he's heading up the creative in the company," former senior director of Marvel properties at Hands-On Mobile) and Brad Foxhoven (former strategic consultant for ... everything). As far as announcements with game developers or publishers attached, Inbar says we'll "hear more soon."