Kabam, a developer of massive multiplayer games like Kingdoms of Camelot, has raised a $30 million third round of funding to support its acquisition goals. The Redwood City company also plans to use the proceeds to produce more titles and expand its studio, which has grown from 20 employees last year to 200 now.
On the acquisition front, Kabam says its looking to buy companies similar to Wonderhill, which is acquired in October. WonderHill says it stands apart from competitors like Zynga and Playdom because it develops more “wholesome” social and casual games like Green Spot, where players can save a rainforest, or the pet rescue product Dog World.
While those games certainly standout from titles like Zynga’s Mafia Wars, Kabam believes it can differentiate itself from its social game rivals by aiming more for serious players, as opposed to the usual Facebook player, who perhaps logs on briefly and without much regularity.
The $30 million Kabam has netted shows how serious investors are becoming about the the social gaming space. Major media companies like Disney (NYSE: DIS), which just shut down its console gaming studio Propaganda Games, has stated it will concentrate its resources on social gaming. Last fall, Viacom (NYSE: VIA) also said it put more of an emphasis on social gaming at MTV Networks following last month’s sale of Harmonix, makers of the disappointing Rock Band console gaming series.
A recent eMarketer forecast said social gaming revenues will surge from last year’s $856 million to over $1.3 billion by 2012. General usage of social media gaming is set to gain by 29 percent in 2012 to 68 million users who play at least one game a week.
In the meantime, Kabam has several titles ready for release this year, as it rides the rising wave of social gaming. The round was led by Redpoint Ventures and Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Capital with additional funding from original investor Canaan Partners, which incubated Kabam in its offices at the seed stage. Release