Turbine Plays with $40 Million

MMO game publisher Turbine charges less than $20 to subscribe to any of its titles, but it apparently costs a bundle to publish them in the first place. The Westwood, Mass.-based company has secured another $40 million in VC funding, according to a regulatory filing discovered by peHUB.

Granite Global Ventures led the “Series C” round, with managing partner Hani Nada taking a board seat. Return backers include Highland Capital Partners, Polaris Venture Partners, Tudor Ventures and Columbia Capital. The filing indicates that Turbine so far has only called down the first $25 million. To date, the company has now raised more than $90 million, including a $30 million infusion in February 2005.

Turbine so far has focused on subscription-based MMO role-playing games like Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeon & Dragons Online, but soon is expected to announce some major strategic change. No details are yet available, although one possibility is that Turbine will migrate some of its products from PCs to consoles.

Another option could be a move to mobile, given that the company last October picked former MQube executive Jim Crowley as its new CEO. Previous chief executive Jeffrey Anderson has since gone on to found sports-focused MMO Play Hard Sports, which just raised $5 million from New Enterprise Associates. Anderson remains a Turbine shareholder.

Jim Crowley is traveling today and has so far been unavailable for comment.