Warner Bros., MGM invest in Hobbit dev

Kabam secures undisclosed investments from high-profile investors following launch of Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth.

Social game studio Kabam has secured investments from a pair of high-profile companies. The company announced today (via Reuters) that Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and MGM Studios have invested an undisclosed amount in the San Francisco, California-based company.

As part of the deal, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment president Kevin Tsujihara will join Kabam's board of directors, with MGM CEO Gary Barber coming aboard as an "observer."

Kabam recently released The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, a free-to-play strategy game for iOS and Android devices. It is based on Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, the first installment of which is due to theaters on Friday.

Kabam is also working on a second game based on The Hobbit. Currently in beta for the PC, The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age has players commanding an army of elves, dwarves, or orcs while controlling Hobbit heroes Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey.

Kabam was founded in 2006 as Watercooler. The company's breakout title was Kingdoms of Camelot, a strategy game for Facebook. In August 2010, Watercooler rebranded itself Kabam and has since expanded from a staff of 25 in one office to an outfit that employs more than 400 across offices around the world.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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15 comments
drgribb
drgribb

Anyone else here played the Hobbit game by Sierra, back when Sierra still existed? I actually kind of liked it.

praack
praack

oh stop i am getting sick- the LOTR trilogy movie was the best movie adaptation attempt made to date- but even that was not true to source. this Hobbit fiasco is even less so- taking a small text and translating it into three 2 hour movies? with characters never in the book? now mobile games?  

no wonder there is a rift between the authors estate and Jackson- of course he can license anything (and is doing it) now.

okeanis
okeanis

Ah yes, I noticed this game (kingdoms) a couple of weeks ago on the Play Store. Thinking about trying it out, just not too sure about that "phone status and identity" permission.

adamomars
adamomars

Ive read and watched the trilogy thrice each. So im a nerd. BUT, there is definantly a huge range of quality when it comes to related games. War of the Ring was trash, Return of the king by EA was good. Battle for middle earth 2, (EA?) was good. so... yea.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Warner is worth watching, those guys are awesome now to gamers.

LonerCat
LonerCat

Behold, soon we shall be swarmed with dozens of the hobbit titles, one crappier than the next. Talk about milking...

tgwolf
tgwolf

Okay, let's please see something more a worthless tweak on the EXACT STORYLINE and actions sequences of the movies (as if they were ANY authority on Middle Earth) or a disgraceful reduction to an arcade deathmatch arena!

ZetA_LatA
ZetA_LatA

I would really like to see a Middle Earth game that doesn't belittle the epic fantasy that is the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. There were a few nice ones but far more duds/disgraces.

RatedRranger
RatedRranger

Would be awesome if we got a battle for middle earth 3.

carolino
carolino

best lotr games arrived way past the movies.

 

based on timing alone i would risk to say game sucks and it will make some money because of the movie.

 

Unrespecting JRRT should be a crime so i hope im wrong

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @drgribb I never thought it seemed good enough for me to want to play. The character models (Bilbo "Bushy Brows" Baggins for instance) was only one of the things that seemed awkward. Actually, I haven't found any Lotr game that I wanted to play. I can't understand why they didn't make even one singleplayer RPG for the PC, it's practically built for that.

OzzieArcane
OzzieArcane

 @adamomars Most the EA stuff that wasn't Conquest was at least tolerable. Then Conquest went and blew so many chunks that it cost them the license. The quality ranges so much now because the license keeps bouncing around.

oflow
oflow

 @RatedRranger Exactly.  BFMEII is one of the best strategy games of all-time. I'm really surprised they havent brought out one for 'The Hobbit' with the Battle of Five Armies and all. Its the perfect time for one too there hasnt been a good RTS game in a while...