Social game developer Kabam has raised a whopping $30 million round of funding from Redpoint Ventures, Intel Capital and Canaan Partners in order to create multiplayer social games focused on hardcore gamers.
Kabam CEO Kevin Chou, a former associate at Canaan Partners, says that the fresh round of funding will be used to fuel new acquisitions and grow out the internal team to bring more products to market. A lot of the focus will be on launching new massive multiplayer social games. In addition, Kabam hopes to expand to other social and mobile platforms in 2011.
Unlike Zynga, Playfish and other social gaming juggernauts, Kabam doesn’t focus on the millions of casual gamers that permeate Facebook. Instead, the development firm is honing in on 25- to 35-year-old males who are looking for a deeper and more competitive in-game experience.
Kabam currently has three Facebook games on the market: Kingdoms of Camelot, Dragons of Atlantis, Glory of Rome and SI Fantasy Football. Kings of Camelot is by far the company’s most popular game, boasting 6.1 million monthly active users and 700,000 daily active users. The social gaming company has about 7.5 million monthly active users across its entire network.
Kabam’s games are far more like World of Warcraft than FarmVille. In Kings of Camelot, for example, users are actively trying to grow their kingdoms through commerce and battle. A key element to Kabam’s games is the player vs. player (PvP) aspect: Users are encouraged to form groups and actively attack other players to build their virtual empires.
Supporting massive multiplayer games and the calculations needed to make the battles happen instantly takes a lot of server power though, which is also where the funding comes into play. Not only will Kabam use the money from Redpoint, Intel and Canaan to buy more servers, but Intel Capital (a strategic investor) will provide assistance and insight in data center technologies and parallel processing. Redpoint Ventures led the round, while Canaan Partners is an existing investor in the company.
Social gaming is a rapidly expanding market, but there are countless companies in the space. We like that Kabam is distinguishing itself from the crowd and carving out its own niche with traditional hardcore gamers. Cornering even a slice of the social gaming market is definitely a recipe for success.