Kabam buys up RPG studio Phoenix Age

Phoenix Age is the company RGP hit games Castle Age and Underworld Empire

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
March 10, 2014
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Interactive entertainment company Kabam is one of the more well-known gaming studios out there right now, especially when it comes to its free-to-play games. With a potential IPO looming, though, the company is looking to diversify its offerings. That specifically means it wants expanding into new genres, including role-playing games (RPG).

The company is doing this by purchasing one of the more successful companies in that niche, Phoenix Age. No financial terms of deal, which was announced on Monday, were disclosed.

Founded in 2009, Phoenix Age is the company behind two of the more popular mobile RPGs: Castle Age, which is available on iOS and Android, and Underworld Empire, which is only available on iOS. Both games are in the top grossing charts on their respective platforms. Castle Age is a top 75-grossing game, which Underworld Empire is a top-25 grosser.

Phoenix Age also says that it currently has a third, unannounced title in development.

The company, which is located in downtown San Francisco, says that all of its 44 employees will continue to operate in their current offices.

“We jumped at the opportunity to bring Phoenix Age into the Kabam family,” Kent Wakeford, Kabam's Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement. “Phoenix Age’s hit games and world-class talent further solidify Kabam’s leadership role in the free-to-play games space while expanding Kabam into new genres.”

Phoenix Age is the company's seventh studio acquisition since 2010. Kabam most recently purchased Exploding Barrell Games, the maker of the popular Margaritaville game on Facebook, in January of last year. 

Other acquisitions include WonderHill, Fearless Studios, Gravity Bear, Wild Shadow Studios and Balanced Worlds. Phoenix Age is being called " the first acquisition for Kabam in 2014," implying that Kabam will be making more acquisitions through the year.

San Francisco-based Kabam is the creator of hit games like Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. The Kingdoms of Camelot franchise has grossed a total of more than $250 million in less than four years. 

The company had  four games grossing more than $100 million by the end of last year, and \the studio closed out 2013 with more than $360 million in revenues and projects revenues of $550 to $650 million this year.

In all, Kabam has raised a total of $125 million, including  a $30 million Series C in January 2011, led by Redpoint Ventures and Intel Capital with additional contributions from original investor Canaan Partners, Kabam’s seed-stage incubator, and an $85 million Series D in May 2011 from Google Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures, Performance Equity and SK Telecom Ventures, in addition to its earlier investors.

Kabam offices throughout the U.S. as well as China, Korea, England, Luxembourg, Germany and Canada, with roughly 750 employees around the world.

Kabam could not be reached for further comment. 

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