Turbine Collects $6.6M of $50M Round for Role-Playing Empire

Turbine, the Westwood, MA-based maker of online role-playing games profiled here last week, has obtained $6.57 million of a planned $50 million Series D round of financing from its venture funders, according to a document filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The funding was first reported by Dan Primack at PE Hub.

So far, the funding appears to be coming entirely from Turbine’s existing investors. Michael Hirshland of Polaris Venture Partners, Bob Davis of Highland Capital Partners, Carmen Scarpa of Tudor Ventures, Jeffrey Patterson of Columbia Capital, and Hany Nada of Granite Global Ventures are listed in the regulatory filing as board directors involved in the new round.

The company has not issued an official announcement about the funding round. Turbine executives and investors did not immediately respond to my requests for comment. [Update, 4:30 p.m., 8/10/09: I reached a representative for Turbine, who said the company has no comment on the financing.]

The new round would bring Turbine’s total venture funding to $145 million, including a $40 million Series C round that closed in April 2008. The 15-year-old, 300-employee company runs two major subscription-based online role-playing game worlds, The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online, as well as Asheron’s Call, its original title. It’s about to launch an overhauled version of Dungeons & Dragons Online that, for the first time for a major U.S.-based online role-playing game, will be free to play. CEO Jim Crowley told me that the company is also on the verge of announcing its first console-based game and may also be about to acquire a new entertainment property similar to The Lord of the Rings and Dungeons & Dragons.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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