Kabam Expands Global Studios, Acquires Exploding Barrel Games

Vancouver-Based Studio Focuses on Console-Quality Free-to-Play Games and is Home to Industry Leaders from EA, Microsoft, and Industrial Light and Magic

Jan. 15, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO & VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kabam, the leader in free-to-play games for core players, today announced further international expansion with the acquisition of Exploding Barrel Games. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Exploding Barrel Games is focused on creating console-quality free-to-play experiences for core gamers. The studio is comprised of game makers who created blockbuster franchises in multiple core genres, including Need for Speed, Skate, FIFA and SSX, to name a few. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Kabam continues to grow our global studio team with the best talent in the world,” said Andrew Sheppard, Kabam’s President of Studios. “With experience working on multi-billion dollar franchises like Need for Speed and EA Sports titles, and developing blockbusters in nearly every core genre, the team at Exploding Barrel Games is a perfect complement to Kabam’s mission to blend the art of game design with the science of free-to-play distribution.”

Located in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, Exploding Barrel Games is currently working on three unannounced games and has a rapidly growing team of more than 30 designers, artists, and programmers.

“Exploding Barrel Games makes triple-A free-to-play games and is growing our team here in Vancouver,” said Scott Blackwood, President, Exploding Barrel Games. “We’re excited to join Kabam’s global studios team and continue to bring the art of great game design to connected devices, with thrilling, high-quality games that rival what’s available on consoles. If you’d like to join our team we’d love to hear from you.”

The Exploding Barrel Games deal continues a series of Kabam’s acquisitions, complementing the company’s organic growth. Since 2010, Kabam has acquired WonderHill, Fearless Studios, Gravity Bear, Wild Shadow Studios and Balanced Worlds. In May 2010, Kabam opened a development studio in Beijing and in 2011 opened customer service and corporate offices in Luxembourg and Germany. Last year Kabam opened a development studio in Austin, Texas. Kabam is hiring developers and designers in all of its studio locations.

Kabam ended 2012 on a strong note with one of its hit games, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, placing first on Apple’s Highest Grossing Apps list for 2012. Earlier in December, Kabam became one of the rare companies to have three games simultaneously ranked on the Top 25 Grossing Apps lists for both iOS and Android.

The achievements capped a year in which Kabam grew its revenue by more than 60 percent over 2011 gross revenue of $100 million, diversified its revenue from 100 percent dependent on Facebook to more than 70 percent on mobile and Web, and saw its first game franchise, Kingdoms of Camelot, which launched in Sept. 2009, surpass $100 million in gross revenue, making it one of the top ten strategy game franchises of all time.

Kabam also grew in size in 2012, increasing its personnel base by more than 40 percent to 580 employees and relocating its headquarters to San Francisco.

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