Media giant Time Warner is getting in on the virtual worlds game this week, making an undisclosed investment in “teen hangout” site Gaia Online. The investment came as part of a Series B funding round for the company, and followed deal Warner Bros. made with Gaia last months to show free and pay-per-view versions of the studios films in Gaia’s virtual cinemas
Without knowing the monetary amount of the investment, it’s hard to say how seriously Time Warner is taking the future of virtual worlds and Gaia in particular. Still, the youth oriented worlds are getting more publisher and advertiser attention after a tough 2007 for virtual worlds in general. Last month Coca-Cola migrated its virtual property to PG-13 world There.com and Disney bought Club Penguin in August. The Gaia Online world claims to have approximately three million unique users per month, with members spending an average of more than two hours on the site per day.