Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. have made an unspecified investment in privately-held game company Kabam Inc. They join existing Kabam investors Google, Intel, Canaan Partners and Redpoint Ventures.
Two prominent Hollywood executives now join Kabam’s board as member and observer, respectively: Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Office of the President, Warner Bros. Entertainment; and Gary Barber, MGM chairman and chief executive officer.
The three firms are currently working together somewhere not far from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Fords of Isen. The mobile game The Hobbit, Kingdoms of Middle-earth, was co-developed by Kabam and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and is based on Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and MGM.
The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age, a browser-based game with the same corporate and intellectual property heritage, is due early in 2013.
For those who have missed the promotional blitz, perhaps by living with Gollum in a Misty Mountains cavern, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – the first of Peter Jackson’s three Hobbit films – is set for release by New Line Cinema and MGM this Friday on December 14.
Each of the three companies issued a statement, as follows.
“Partnering with Warner Bros. and MGM is a natural fit for Kabam as we create new story lines and extensions of Hollywood studios’ intellectual properties for millions of gamers worldwide,” said Kabam co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou. “Either Kevin Tsujihara or Gary Barber would be a tremendous addition to any growing entertainment company’s board. To have both is a boon to Kabam.”
“We partnered with Kabam almost a year ago to deliver incredible games for The Hobbit trilogy, arguably one of the top intellectual properties in the world,” said Tsujihara. “As we worked with Kabam, it became clear that a closer, more strategic partnership made sense for us both. Kabam is a leader in the industry and we look forward to being a part of their continued growth.”
“Kabam offers great strategic vision and discipline for growth and they are the best at what they do,” said Barber. “They are a natural partner for us on both our vast selection of IP as well as potential future projects.”
Kabam – http://www.kabam.com
The Hobbit trilogy – http://www.thehobbit.com