Bilbo is gonna run out of room in his hobbit hole thanks to the huge stacks of money he keeps piling up.
Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth developer Kabam generated $360 million in revenues in 2013. That’s up 100 percent from 2012 when the company brought in $180 million thanks to its lineup of free-to-play mobile games.
Kabam specializes in mobile strategy titles targeted at people who play traditional games. The Hobbit, Kingdoms of Camelot, and the developer’s other titles have players building up castles and fortresses to protect their lands.
“For the second consecutive year, Kabam blew past its plan,” Kabam chief executive officer Kevin Chou said in a statement. “A year ago, we forecasted 2013 revenue would grow by 50 percent to $270 million. Six months ago we raised the forecast to $325 million. To close the year topping $360 million is a testament to the innovation, creativity, and collaboration of more than 750 Kabam employees around the world who are focused on keeping Kabam the leading freemium games company for traditional players.”
Freemium refers to games that don’t cost anything to download but feature in-app purchases that boost a player’s abilities and performance.
The Hobbit and Kingdoms of Camelot are Kabam’s premier titles. Both games finished on the top-10 highest-grossing apps on the iOS App Store. Kabam had 11 games in total that grossed over $1 million over a 30-day period in 2013, with Fast & Furious 6: The Game storming in as the company’s fastest-growing product ever.
“Kabam’s growth in 2013 was even more impressive because we simultaneously grew at 100 percent and improved the underlying economics and margins. These improvements allowed us to make significant and increasing investments in the future,” Kabam chief financial officer Steven Klei said.
In 2013, Kabam launched a publishing division that will help third-parties release games under the company. The studio put $50 million in a fund to help out potential third-party developers.
With its success, Kabam is confident about the future of mobile gaming.
“A new generation of consoles was introduced last year and initial sales appeared encouraging,” said Chou. ” However, over time, free-to-play mobile gaming revenues will dramatically overtake traditional game sales as more people worldwide download and play games on smartphones and tablets from freemium content companies like Kabam.”
In July, Kabam raised $38.5 million in secondary funding that valued the company at $700 million. The studio also has $70 million in the bank, and it claims to have a “robust financial outlook” for this year. Kabam is also the subject of a rumored initial-public offering.
Late in 2013, Kabam agreed to pay $18 million over 15 years to secure the naming rights to name the football field at the University of California at Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium. The name is now Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.