Kabam Raises Serious Dough to Develop Serious Games for Social

Social games developer Kabam has raised a hefty round of funding to bring games to Facebook that appeal to a more traditional demographic–and probably not your mother. The capital will be used to expand its studios, release new titles and make acquisitions.

In a third round of capital, Kabam raised $30 million, led by Redpoint Ventures, with Intel Capital and Canaan Partners participating.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company, which has such titles on Facebook as Kingdoms of Camelot, Dragons of Atlantis and Glory of Rome, is focused on developing massively multiplayer games like Activision’s super successful Call of Duty: Black Ops on Xbox.

As social gaming has ramped up, titles so far have been more mellow, focusing on attracting the largest audience possible. Therefore, many titles by category leaders like Zynga have had a wholesome flavor, focusing on activities in daily life, like farming and cooking. Typically, the games take only a few minutes per session, and users interact with friends when asking for goods or helping each other out on tasks.

However, Kabam has integrated more traditional features into its games, such as battles and fights, that require more strategy. It also allows players to interact with one another via real-time chat.

Kabam, which has been flying fairly under the radar, has 200 employees, up from 20 in the beginning of the year, and has additional studios in San Francisco, China and Germany. In October, it acquired Wonderhill, and this year it plans to launch more games, continue hiring and make additional acquisitions.

A $30 million round by investors signals that the social gaming market is still far from mature, with growth opportunities and niches still remaining–despite Zynga’s dominance and major acquisitions by some of the top game producers, like Electronic Arts and Disney, already having taken place.


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