“Lord of the Rings Online” Publisher Turbine Reported to Raise $40 Million

4/30/08Follow @wroush

According to a report yesterday at the financial news site PE Hub, Westwood, MA-based Turbine, publisher of graphically rich online role playing games such Lord of the Rings Online, has nearly doubled its venture capital pot through a $40 million Series C influx from Granite Global Ventures and partners.

PE Hub said its report was based on a regulatory filing that it had “discovered.” Turbine itself hasn’t announced a new funding round, and at the time this piece was published the company had not returned Xconomy’s calls requesting comment.

Reporters at PE Hub keep careful track of the paper “Form D” filings periodically made public by the Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings frequently enter the public record before the concerned startups and their investors have issued official announcements. And sometimes, as in the recent case of a reported $50 million investment in bioethanol company Mascoma, the companies never publicly acknowledge the information.

In addition to Menlo Park, CA-based Granite Global, according to the PE Hub report, Turbine’s Series C round involved existing investors Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Tudor Ventures, and Columbia Capital. The $40 million round, of which Turbine has called down only $25 million so far, brings the total venture capital stake in the company to more than $90 million.

On April 23, Turbine spokesman Adam Mersky told Mass High Tech that the company planned to make an announcement about its future products within two weeks. MHT speculated that because the job-listings section of Turbine’s website contained positions for console-game designers, the company might be making a jump from online-only games to titles for consoles such as the Xbox 360, Playstation, or Wii.

Last week former Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson (whom we interviewed last October) launched a casual online sports gaming company called Play Hard Sports, with $5 million in backing from New Enterprise Associates.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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