Kabam branching off Facebook to iOS, new games networks
Kabam moves farther away from its Facebook origins today by launching Dragons of Atlantis on games portal Kongregate and Kingdoms of Camelot on iOS.
The official announcement today only mentions a publishing partnership with Kongregate, but we found Kabam’s first mobile game on the Canadian App Store early last week. Though Kabam VP of Mobile Matt Ricchetti had no public comment on the title, we observe he’ll be speaking at the upcoming Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next month — where he’ll presumably discuss Kabam’s efforts to diversify its offerings as a social game developer that got its start on Facebook.
Kabam’s reputation comes from asynchronous strategy combat games like Dragons of Atlantis and Kingdoms of Camelot. In 2011, the developer landed an $85 million fourth round of funding, the developer started to expand, bulking up its core technology and metrics tracking infrastructure, opening a San Francisco studio and launching games on other platforms like Google+ and its own site. Going into 2012, Kabam acquired Fearless Studios to push its games out of 2D and into streaming 3D. The company also completed some restructuring that resulted in layoffs, the magnitude of which we never quite discovered. As of February 2012, Kabam claims its quarterly bookings are up 10 times over its Q4 2010 and that it believes it’s No.2 behind Zynga in terms of social game revenue.
An interesting component buried in the press release is a proprietary framework called Pyramid that Kabam plans to use to connect all its games in a synchronous environment. The goal for the user-side experience is to allow players on various networks and devices to play together. On the developer-side, the framework eliminates the need for branched code and multiple update pushes for different platforms. It’s unclear how smoothly Pyramid will work in mobile, where Apple’s update policy often trips up cross-platform developers that want to release constant updates.
As Kabam’s attention has shifted away from Facebook, we’re not at all surprised to see its traffic on the platform sagging. Daily active users alone are down over 50 percent since July 2011, from 1.4 million to 590,000, according to our AppData traffic tracking service. For context, Kongregate claims a user base of 16 million monthly unique visitors.