Kabam joins the Mobage stable with new Ngmoco publising deal

By AJ Glasser Comment

DeNA-owned ngmoco has signed up Kabam as the newest publishing partner for the Mobage platform. The announcement comes out of DeNA’s Mobage Forum conference in Japan this week.

Kabam has only just entered the mobile market with a version of its Facebook game Kingdoms of Camelot on iOS. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North debuted on our Emerging Apps list at No. 33 early last month and has since gone on to claim the No. 1 spot on Top Grossing just last week. The social game developer is partnering with DeNA to release Android games on Mobage, but declined to confirm if the first offering would be a port of Battle for the North. The first game from this partnership will be available on the network this summer.

Speaking to Inside Mobile Apps, Kabam President Andrew Sheppard explains that DeNA’s expertise on Android and its understanding of the hardcore gamer market made it an appealing publishing partner.

“It gives us the resources to quickly and easily deploy our games not just in North America and Europe, but Japan as well. They also are helping manage the QA and testing for the wide range of Android devices and OS versions,” Sheppard says. “The biggest difference between [Android and iOS] boils down to hardware and OS fragmentation. Given the sheer number of Android handsets and OS flavors in the market, we need to do more testing and tweaking to make sure we deliver a great experience on a wide range of Android devices.”

As to what Kabam has learned from its first foray into mobile that it can take back to its social games business on Facebook and Google+, Sheppard says that mobile and social players demonstrate similar usage patterns in alliance and chat features, but introducing new players to the gameplay systems was a key learning in going mobile.

“With Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North we spent a lot of time refining and streamlining the on-boarding process for new players. It’s definitely something we’re looking at for our Web games,” he says. “One of the key differences we’re noticing between web and mobile is that a significantly higher percentage of mobile users are converting to pay. They also tend to spend sooner in their lifecycle than with web games. Lastly, despite the fact that we’ve heard mobile games have lower [revenue per daily active user], we’ve been seeing RPDAUs that are as high, if not higher, than our web games.”

DeNA’s most recent high-profile partnership for Mobage is a Disney deal that includes Marvel-branded social games for Mobage’s networks in North America, Europe, Japan, China and South Korea.