Warner Bros. forms fellowship with Kabam for Hobbit games

By Mike Thompson Comment

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Kabam have joined forces to co-publish mobile and web games based on Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit film trilogy.

Kabam is set to develop and maintain two strategy titles, one mobile and one online. Mobile devices will receive The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, while The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age will be playable on web browsers. Both games are scheduled to launch this Fall and players will be able to sign up for the latter game’s beta starting on Sept. 25.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has been largely absent from social and mobile platforms, though the studio has developed a few light tie-ins to some of its movies and mobile versions of popular franchises. While there have been a number of mobile games based on its parent company’s more popular IP, these tend to be licensed titles developed by third parties like Gameloft. Kabam, however, has managed to successfully leverage itself as a core game developer, with only 30 percent of its income coming from Facebook. The majority of its revenue now comes from its own web platform and mobile and tablet games. Recently, the company scored a major hit with Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North on iOS.

Now that it’s clearing revenue of $100 million and isn’t dependent on one platform, the company is now considering an IPO but hasn’t said whether that will happen in 2013 or 2014.