China – Kabam teams up with Alibaba for mobile games in ChinaBy Phil - 4 August 2014
Kabam, a developer of free-to-play games for core players, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group to publish popular Kabam mobile games in China across Alibaba Group’s mobile applications including Mobile Taobao and Laiwang.
Kabam’s games include Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, Fast & Furious 6: The Game, and Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon.
Kabam will also receive an investment of approximately US$120m from Alibaba Group, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
The strategic collaboration was announced today at ChinaJoy, China and Asia’s top digital entertainment expo and conference with 180,000 attendees and keynoted by Kabam’s CEO Kevin Chou.
“Truly successful games companies have to be globally successful,” said Mr. Chou. “This strategic collaboration with Alibaba provides Kabam the resources, infrastructure and distribution to help bring our current and future durable franchise games to China and elsewhere in Asia and make an immediate impact.”
“Alibaba is committed to collaborating with great games companies like Kabam to deliver captivating digital entertainment offerings to our users,” said Patrick Liu, president of Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment business unit. “The Kabam team has a track record of innovation and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and this is exactly the type of company we want to support.”
China and other Asian markets play a key role in the growth and success of Kabam. The company opened an office in Beijing four years ago, and develops many of its marquee mobile titles there including The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, as well as Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, each of which has generated more than US$100m in revenue. Kabam also created the US$50m Worldwide Developers Fund, which delivers hit games from Asia developers to a global audience.
With offices throughout the US as well as China, South Korea, England, Germany and Canada, Kabam delivers hit games to global audiences to create long-lasting franchises. Kabam games are routinely among the top 25 grossing games on the app store charts, and in 2013 Kabam had two of the top ten grossing apps in the App Store. Kabam closed 2013 with more than US$360m in revenues, a 100 percent increase over 2012.
In addition to hit first-party games, Kabam is uniquely positioned in the free-to-play industry with deep Hollywood partnerships that produce hit mobile titles such as The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, Fast & Furious 6: The Game as well as the forthcoming The Hunger Games in partnership with Lionsgate, and Contest of Champions in partnership with Marvel. Kabam also has a robust publishing platform that delivers hit games from Asia to global audiences.
Alibaba Group joins a roster of existing high-profile Kabam investors that includes Google Ventures, Warner Bros., MGM, Intel, Canaan Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures and others.