joystick_labs.jpgHopeful independent video game entrepreneurs have one less source to turn to for start-up money, as incubator Joystick Labs will no longer be funding new companies.

Started just over two years ago by a group that included Red Storm Entertainment co-founder Juan Beito, the group's program provided a small amount of funding and network support to get a new developer going, in exchange for a minority ownership in the company.

The group blamed a harsh independent video game climate for shutting down the program, saying that getting a digital game noticed is more difficult than it had realized.

"It has become very difficult for an independent developer to get noticed," managing director John Austin told local New England-area outlet The News & Observer. "For every Angry Birds, there are literally tens of thousands of great companies not getting noticed."

Since its inception, Joystick Labs funded seven game companies, three of which are still operational. The highest-profile game to come from Joystick funding is Mighty Rabbit Studios' Saturday Morning RPG, a mobile title that apparently has not been selling very well.

[Frank Cifaldi wrote this article, which originally appeared on Gamasutra.]