Kabam buys Canadian studio Exploding Barrel Games

Steven Loeb · January 15, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/2cec

Acquisition allows Kabam to continue global expansion, already has studios in Asia and Europe

Interactive entertainment company Kabam has acquired Canadian game developer Exploding Barrel Games in order to grow its global studio, it was announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal continues a series of acquisitions made by Kabam since 2010, which include WonderHill, Fearless Studios, Gravity Bear, Wild Shadow Studios and Balanced Worlds.

San Francisco-based Kabam is the creator of hit games like Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, which placed first on Apple’s Highest Grossing Apps list for 2012. In December, Kabam became one of the rare companies to have three games simultaneously ranked on the Top 25 Grossing Apps lists for both iOS and Android. Kingdoms of Camelot surpassed $100 million in gross revenue in 2012.

Last year, Kabam grew both its revenue and team. Revenue was up by more than 60% over 2011 gross revenue of $100 million, while the team grew by over 40% to 580 employees. The company also relocated its headquarters from San Carlos, California to San Francisco.

In addition to said growth, Kabam did a good job diversiying last year, going from having all of its revenue dependent on Facebook to over 70% coming from mobile and Web.

By buying a Canadian developer, Kabam will continue its global expansion that began in May 2010, when it opened a development studio in Beijing. In 2011, it opened customer service and corporate offices in Luxembourg and Germany, and last year Kabam opened a development studio in Austin, Texas. Kabam says that it is hiring developers and designers in all of its studio locations.

“Kabam continues to grow our global studio team with the best talent in the world,” Andrew Sheppard, Kabam’s President of Studios, said in statement. “With experience working on multi-billion dollar franchises like Need for Speedand EA Sports titles, and developing blockbusters in nearly every core genre, the team at Exploding Barrel Games is a perfect complement to Kabam’s mission to blend the art of game design with the science of free-to-play distribution.”

.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.

Vancouver-based Exploding Barrel Games is the maker of the popular Margaritaville game on Facebook. The company says that it  is currently working on three unannounced games and has a rapidly growing team of more than 30 designers, artists, and programmers. 

Exploding Barrel Games is committed to developing well designed, cross platform games.

"At Exploding Barrel Games we believe that break-through, highly polished game design and visuals paired with our proprietary technology, actionable analytics and social graphs will drive the next generation of cross platform games.  Our mission: set a new bar by making explosively fun, profitable, AAA, connected experiences that span social networks, tablets, smart phones & PCs," it says on the company's website.

“Exploding Barrel Games makes triple-A free-to-play games and is growing our team here in Vancouver,” Scott Blackwood, President of Exploding Barrel Games, said in statement. “We’re excited to join Kabam’s global studios team and continue to bring the art of great game design to connected devices, with thrilling, high-quality games that rival what’s available on consoles."

Kabam and Exploding Barrel Games were unavailable for comment. 

(Image source: https://mms.businesswire.com)

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Kabam is an interactive entertainment company leading the next wave in social gaming, developing and publishing massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s), including the popular and critically praised title Kingdoms of Camelot and Dragons of Atlantis. Our studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of players looking for deeper, more engaging social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction.

Kabam started out as Watercooler, whose aim was to make connecting with your friends, family, and other fans of your favorite TV shows or Sports teams more compelling than ever before. By bringing fan communities into the context of your social network, Watercooler enables more engaging sports and TV fan experiences. Fans are able to access Watercooler's FanSection and TVLoop communities no matter where they are on the web: Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MyYahoo, and TVLoop.com.  Over 35 million sports and TV fans have joined Watercooler's fan applications  making it the largest online fan community.

Company History
Kabam was founded by a team of social networking and community software professionals in Mountain View, CA, in 2006. The company has raised a Series A round of financing from Canaan Partners of Menlo Park, CA.