Multiplayer social game developers Kabam – formerly known as Watercooler – announced today that the purchase of a 25,000 square feet office in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
Kabam currently employs 30 people in Redwood City, California, in a space one-sixth the size of the new office; the company also has headquarters in Beijing, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But now the game maker plans to hire nearly 750 new people around the globe, and about 150 of those will work in the recently purchased facility at 405 Howard Street in San Francisco.
You might have played Kabam’s most popular game to date, Kingdoms of Camelot, a pretty complex strategy and battle game that builds on the stories of King Arthur and its famous castle and court. Over 3 million people are fans of the game on Facebook.
Commercial realtor Jones Lang LaSalle told the Chronicle that about 17.1 percent of all offices spaces in San Francisco are currently vacant, but that the tendency might finally be reversed this year: The city’s Mayor Edwin Lee has offered tax breaks to online companies that relocate to an area near City Hall, according to his spokeswoman, Christine Falvey’s conversation with Bloomberg.
Facebook game developers might be a big reason for the change. If you recall, last September social gaming mammoth Zynga closed a deal on the biggest new office lease San Francisco has had in five years. The FarmVille creators leased about 270,000 square feet near where Kaboom plans to move in a space called Townsend Center, with enough room to accommodate more than 2,000 workers. And Twitter has gotten some credit for helping change the face of San Francisco’s office market.
Do you think social media will help revive San Francisco’s commercial real estate market?