Kids -- particularly tweens -- are big business today, with an ever-larger percentage of the family budget being used for and influenced by this age group. Smart businesses everywhere are hurrying to get in on the gold mine, and MMO gaming is no exception. MMOs and virtual worlds like Free Realms and Club Penguin are enjoying growing success, and there is still plenty of room on the bandwagon.

More and more MMO companies are turning an eye to console development, and that road runs both ways: The Escapist took a look at the possibility of upcoming virtual worlds for the 8-12 year old market. The focus was on franchises that have traditionally been known to be console only, particularly those coming from Nintendo. Nintendo enjoys a nearly unshakable hold on the young casual console gamer market, thanks mostly to the Mario franchise.

A virtual world filled with Mario and all of his friends? Why not? Take a look at what The Escapist has to say on the matter.

This article was originally published on Massively.