Kabam Acquires Top LucasArts Game Makers to Help Build Hardcore Social Games

Kabam, known for developing hardcore social games such as The Godfather and Kingdoms of Camelot, has acquired a company with deep roots in the console game space.

Fearless Studios was co-founded two years ago by notable game makers Haden Blackman and Cedrick Collomb.

Blackman was the creator and senior executive producer of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and Collomb was formerly director of engineering at LucasArts. The two will immediately join Kabam, along with all members of the team from Marin, Calif.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Acquisitions in social gaming are common, especially as emerging companies try to gain scale. But it is not often that a social game company purchases a console game developer.

In the case of Kabam, it matches with what that company is trying to achieve. It is the goal of the Redwood City, Calif., company to challenge the notion that all gamers on Facebook are housewives in their mid-40s. Instead, it wants to bring some of the high-end games found on consoles to social networks in order to attract more engaged players, who are willing to play — and pay — more.

In a release, Kabam CEO Kevin Chou said the team at Fearless has the right game-design skills and technology set to help social games become higher fidelity.

“Having the background and emerging technologies and proficiency in making the transition from 2D to 3D on consoles mesh perfectly with Kabam’s strategy,” Chou said.

It is not clear if Fearless Studios ever released any games, but in an interview with USA Today, the founders did say the team was interested in developing for the Xbox, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii, and for other devices, such as the iPhone.

Fearless will be joining a much more established organization, with roughly 400 employees. But there are already some common threads between the two companies: Kabam’s COO, Chris Carvalho, worked at Lucasfilm for a decade; and Blackman spent 13 years with LucasArts.


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