Fluid Entertainment, a game company that employs only 14 people, has raised an impressive $3.2 million in funding for the development of a Flash-based online social game for kids aged 6 - 11. The game has an environment-friendly theme.
After the successes of Webkinz and Club Penguin, these kid-oriented games and virtual worlds are hot items for venture capitalists, according to VentureBeat. Fluid is one of many companies aiming to enter that sector of the industry, but its game is particularly intriguing because it aims to use the medium to "[affect] real-world behavior around environmentalism and sustainability."
This is one more example of the virtual world and MMO phenomenon expanding beyond the hardcore role-playing game niche and "just for fun" design. Fluid is aiming for a summer release of the new game, and its business model will combine subscriptions, micro-transactions, and apparently the sale of real-world merchandise. With $3.2 million in funding, these guys could end up notable players in the kids' MMO space, so we'll be watching them.