Warner Bros., MGM invest in Hobbit dev

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

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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.

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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.

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