USD 161 million has been invested into 16 virtual worlds companies during the second quarter of 2008, brining this year's total investment up to USD 345 million.
That's according to figures from Virtual World Management (and reported by GamesIndustry.biz).
MMO games got the lions' share of the cash. Realtime Worlds was the biggest beneficiary, having secured USD 50 million in funding last March. The money was later used to buy back the distribution rights for the company's in-development crime MMO, APB.
Turbine, the developers of the Lord of the Rings Online, was the next largest, securing USD 40 million in financing led by Time Warner and GGV Capital last month. The company is thought to be working on a mass-market MMO for consoles.
21 other virtual worlds companies benefited from investment this quarter; some are developing MMO games, some social and educational virtual worlds, and others are technology companies working on supporting software and hardware.