As if MMOs for teens and adults aren't bad enough, Fluid Entertainment (Disney Princess Castle Party, Disney Mix, Pokémon Play It!) has decided that children need a Warcrack of their own. They've secured $US 3.2 million in backing for the development of a new MMO aimed at children. With only a few entries in this genre so far, Fluid is going after a relatively untapped market. The game will have an environmental theme, and according to the press release, boast "unprecedented levels of engaging gameplay for children's MMOs, while infusing the compelling narrative with a meaningful purpose". The MMO will be an original title, meaning it's not likely to be based off any of Fluid's previous partnerships with Hasbro, Disney, or Mattel. We can all rest easy that it won't be World of Hannah Montana. Thank goodness.
Fluid Entertainment Gets $US 3.2 Million for New MMO Veteran children's game developer secures backing for original game.
March 12, 2008 - Fluid Entertainment, a California based interactive entertainment developer, today announced it has secured $US 3.2 million in Series A funding led by Trinity Ventures. These funds will support the development and launch of a new, entirely original MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game for children. Fluid Entertainment will announce more game details in the coming months.
"Fluid Entertainment is led by a creative team with more than a decade of experience developing interactive, educational, and - most importantly - fun entertainment for kids," remarked Tim McAdam, general partner at Trinity Ventures. "The company has been in business since the late 90s, and is widely known for developing well regarded games for children. With three other gaming investments in our current portfolio, we were looking for the right play in the children's MMO area, which is an open canvas with only a few incumbents. Fluid has a veteran team, a great history, and a clear and progressive vision that positions the company to become a leader in this arena."
Fluid Entertainment will use the financing to complete development of an engaging, interactive, and environmentally themed "green" game for kids. Slated for launch later this year, the game will feature unprecedented levels of engaging gameplay for children's MMOs, while infusing the compelling narrative with a meaningful purpose.
"It's an exciting time for everyone here at Fluid Entertainment as we drive toward launching an enormously imaginative, vibrant, and innovative new online 'playscape' for children," said Greg Jones, CEO of Fluid Entertainment. "We're thrilled that the venture community shares our exciting vision, and this financing ensures our ability to execute."
Fluid Entertainment's introduction of an original MMO property comes at a time of immense growth in the interactive entertainment field. According to the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), the computer and video game industry broke sales records in 2007, surpassing $9.5 billion. This figure reflects 28% growth from the previous year, with largest growth reflected in the "Family Entertainment" genre, which grew 110%. Additionally, a recent study published by eMarketer, predicts that MMOs, also called "virtual worlds," will be played by 53% of children and teens, a projected 20 million users, by the year 2011.
Working at the forefront of digital entertainment since the genre's earliest years, Fluid Entertainment has a long history of creating educational, engaging and entertaining media for children. The company boasts partnerships spanning a decade with such publishers as Hasbro, Berkeley Systems, Disney, Mattel and The Learning Company.
For more information on Fluid Entertainment, please visit: http://www.fluidentertainment.com
About Fluid Entertainment
Based in Mill Valley, California, Fluid Entertainment is an independent children's interactive entertainment developer founded in 1998 by industry veteran Scott Mathews. With experience creating high profile licensed interactive products based on properties including Harry Potter™, Disney, the Powerpuff Girls, Pokémon and many others, Fluid Entertainment is currently developing an original MMO title for children.
About Trinity Ventures
Trinity Ventures (http://www.trinityventures.com/), a 21-year veteran in the venture business with more than $1 billion under management, partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build great companies. Trinity Ventures focuses on early-stage technology investment opportunities with a particular emphasis on the digital media, Internet services, mobility, security and software markets. Trinity has invested in more than 100 ventures, including such leading companies as Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN), Blue Nile (NASDAQ: NILE), Crescendo Communications, Extreme Networks (NASDAQ: EXTR), Forte Software, Illustra, LoopNet (NASDAQ: LOOP), Photobucket (acquired by News Corporation: NWS), Speedera Networks (acquired by Akamai Technologies: AKAM), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Sygate Technologies (acquired by Symantec: SYMC).