No small deal: Kabam partners with Warner to snap up The Hobbit

Games bound for mobile and web

No small deal: Kabam partners with Warner to snap up The Hobbit
Building on its plan to deliver multiplayer titles for 'core' audiences, Kabam has partnered Warner Bros. to launch games based on the forthcoming The Hobbit Trilogy on both web and mobile.

The deal will see Kabam develop and operate two games – one on each format – set to launch in the autumn.

Natural fit

"The Hobbit films are among the most anticipated entertainment launches of all time," said Kabam CEO Kevin Chou.

"Kabam's unique ability to blend the art of game design and the science of free-to-play distribution makes us a natural fit to partner with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to deliver thrilling games via the web and mobile devices for The Hobbit film fans around the world."

On mobile, Kabam will co-publish multiplayer strategy release The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth.

The free-to-play game will "challenge players to build and manage their own kingdom in Middle-earth, joining with other players to explore and engage in epic war."

Super strategy
The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age, meanwhile, will hit the web at around the same time, and will allow players to take charge of well known characters such as Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey in "fast-paced strategic combat."

The nature of the IP should enable Kabam to reach its desired core audience, with the deal coming less than six months after the firm cemented its intention to "go after the mobile market."

"We have plenty of experience in terms of aspects such as design, monetisation, localisation and user acquisition, and we're in this business for the long haul," said VP of mobile Matt Ricchetti.

No specific formats for Kingdoms of Middle-earth have yet been announced.

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.