SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kabam, the free-to-play games leader for core players in the western world, today announced Kabam Publishing, a new business unit that brings to third-party game developers the same technology platform and marketing tools that Kabam uses to revolutionize the industry by changing how gamers access and pay for their entertainment.
Third-party games offered via Kabam Publishing join those developed by Kabam's in-house development teams to become the twin foundations of Kabam's free-to-play gaming juggernaut, offered on iOS and Android mobile devices as well as on Facebook and the Web. Rapidly becoming a major force in the gaming world, Kabam recently announced that its 2012 gross revenues surpassed $180 million, a 70 percent increase over 2011, and that monthly traffic at Kabam.com now exceeds six million unique visitors.
In connection with the launch of Kabam Publishing, the company announced that 15 games from third-party partners are already available to Kabam players. They include such titles as Wartune, from Reality Squared Games in China; Clash of the Dragons from 5th Planet Games in Roseville, Calif.; and Book of Heroes from Venan Games in Cromwell, Conn. Other developers are in Hungary, Japan and Korea. The company expects to have as many as 50 third party games by year end.
"Game developers around the world recognize that Kabam customers are among the most enthusiastic free-to-play gamers," said Amit Ranade, president of Kabam Publishing. "On a per-player basis, Kabam monetizes games at eight times the rate of other companies. We have and will continue to hand select extremely compelling games that our players truly enjoy.
“Kabam also has one of the industry's most sophisticated performance marketing operations,” Ranade added. “We know how to drive discovery, engagement, and monetization of games arguably better than anyone else in the industry.”
Third-party developers working with Kabam say they have profited enormously from the relationship.
"Partnering with Kabam in bringing Shadowland Online to the market has been one of the best decisions we have made," said Michael Zhang, CEO of ZQGame Inc. in China. "The entire process was fast and effective, and a pleasure to go through. The move quickly brought a unique group of loyal, hardcore players to our game. Since publishing with Kabam, Shadowland has seen a sharp increase in engagement, boosting our monetization to a whole new level."
Brandon Curiel, CEO of Venan, said, "Kabam’s ability to market effectively is second to none. Book of Heroes is now a Top 100 grossing game; in only two short months, we’ve seen a 10x increase in its daily active users. We would never have been able to generate these results on our own, and we couldn’t be happier with our Kabam partnership.”
Venan’s Book of Heroes attracted few players for almost one year before Kabam published it on the iOS platform. After six weeks with Kabam, Book of Heroes became a top 100 grossing app. Similarly, Reality Squared’s Wartune Web game has benefitted from its relationship with Kabam, joining seven of Kabam’s own games grossing more than $1 million per month.
Partnering with third parties to market entertaining games across many different genres is not new to Kabam. The company has partnered with some of the biggest Hollywood studios to create titles with such blockbuster tie-ins as The Hobbit, The Godfather and upcoming Fast and Furious 6. Kabam also works with smaller-scale game development operations who appreciate the sophistication of Kabam's technology as well as the close, collaborative working relationships they can develop with Kabam staffers.
In addition, Kabam has developed its own highly-successful titles. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North topped Apple’s highest grossing apps list for 2012. The Kingdoms of Camelot franchise has had revenues of more than $100 million during its three years on the market. Currently, seven Kabam games generate more than $1 million in monthly revenue.
All Kabam games are free-to-play, with in-game charges for premium content.
“Free-to-play games are clearly disrupting the videogame industry,” said Kabam Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Chou. "Potential gamers all over the world already have sophisticated mobile phones or tablets, so they no longer have any motivation to buy a $400 console or spend $60 on a new game. Kabam is leveraging its technology to be the leader in free-to-play games, and third-party developers will have a crucial role in that effort."
Ranade joined Kabam in 2010 to serve as Kabam's vice president and general manager, overseeing all operations for games developed in Kabam's San Francisco headquarters. He was promoted to president of Kabam distribution in 2011 and quietly incubated the Kabam Publishing division late in 2012. Prior to joining the company, Ranade served in several roles at hi5 in San Francisco, including head of development for hi5's game portal and third-party game APIs, as well as manager of the company's infrastructure team. Before hi5, Ranade worked at Nextag, helping develop internal lead generation products. Ranade holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Kabam is a Series D company whose most recent round of funding in May, 2011 for $75 million. Investors include Google Ventures, Intel Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Canaan Partners, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. The company has more than 500 employees and operations on three continents.
To learn more about Kabam, join the team, or play Kabam games for free online, visit www.kabam.com.