August 1, 2014 – SHANGHAI—Kabam Inc., the leader in free-to-play games for core players, today announced it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group (“Alibaba Group”), the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, 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$120 million 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$100 million in revenue. Kabam also created the US$50 million Worldwide Developers Fund, which delivers hit games from Asia developers to a global audience.
With offices throughout the U.S. 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$360 million 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.
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. acted as lead financial advisor to Kabam. J.P. Morgan also was financial advisor to Kabam. O’Melveny & Myers LLP served as legal advisor to Kabam.
Kabam is the leader in the western world for free-to-play games for traditional players with first and third party published titles available on mobile devices via its own dedicated channel in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and on the Web via Facebook, Yahoo, Kabam.com and other platforms. Kabam is the fastest growing Internet media company in the San Francisco Bay Area and the 17th fastest growing company overall in the U.S., according to Deloitte LLP. Kabam's 2013 revenues exceeded US$360 million, a 100 percent increase over 2012. The company is profitable and cash-flow positive, and has created four titles that have grossed more than US$100 million each in their life. Kabam's Kingdoms of Camelot franchise has grossed more than US$250 million in less than four years, making it one of the top 10 strategy franchises of all time. In 2012, Kabam Publishing was launched to provide third-party developers access to Kabam's technology platform, distribution channels, data analytics and best practices that Kabam's in-house development teams use to bring wildly successful games to players worldwide. Kabam has approximately 800 employees around the world, with corporate headquarters in San Francisco. The company's investors include Google, Warner Brothers, MGM, Intel, Canaan Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures and others. More information about Kabam can be found at www.kabam.com