Kabam Acquires Exploding Barrel Games, Build Outs Presence In Vancouver

Kabam, a midcore mobile and social developer that ended last year with about $160 million in revenue, just bought Exploding Barrel Games and is expanding its presence out in the Vancouver area. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

It follows on a series of other acquisitions including Fearless Studios, Gravity Bear, Wild Shadow Studios and Balanced Worlds — all of which have happened since the beginning of last year.

Exploding Barrel Games has already collaborated on one unreleased title with Kabam and will add more than 30 designers, artists and programmers to the company. That will bring Kabam’s total headcount to around 600 people.

Exploding Barrel Games, which produced MargaritaVille for THQ, includes developers that have worked on Need For Speed, Skate, FIFA and SSX.

Kabam successfully pivoted from the Facebook platform to iOS and Android over the past year with its hit franchise Kingdoms of Camelot. Its mobile game, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North was first on Apple’s highest grossing apps list for 2012. That helped its revenue shift from being 100 percent dependent on Facebook to seeing more than 70 percent of its revenue come from mobile platforms and the web. Kingdoms of Camelot crossed $100 million in cumulative revenue across all platforms last year.

It also signed key licensing deals with Warner Bros. for the Lord of the Rings trilogy that eventually led to a strategic investment from the entertainment company.

Yet at the same time, the company has raised more than $125 million in venture capital, which put a lot of pressure on expectations for an eventual exit. In the past, the company has talked about a potential IPO, but the disastrous performance of Zynga over the past year could put a damper on plans and substantially limit Kabam’s exit options.