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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Warner Bros and MGM To Invest in Social Games Company Kabam


Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) have partnered for investment in the social game developers Kabam Inc., the games maker said on Tuesday.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) and Office of the President, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Gary Barber, MGM chairman and chief executive officer will join the Kabam Board of Directors as member and observer, respectively.

"Partnering with Warner Bros. and MGM is a natural fit for Kabam as we create new story lines and extensions of Hollywood studios' intellectual properties for millions of gamers worldwide," said Kabam Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Chou.

The moves follow the recent release of The Hobbit, Kingdoms of Middle-earth, a game co-developed by Kabam and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) and based on Peter Jackson?s The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and MGM. In less than one month, The Hobbit, Kingdoms of Middle-earth has become the ninth top-grossing mobile app on Google and a top-25 grossing mobile app on Apple in the U.S. Kabam and WBIE are co-developing another Hobbit game to play via Web browsers, The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age, for release early next year. The first of the three Hobbit films is set for release by New Line Cinema and MGM on December 14.

"We partnered with Kabam almost a year ago to deliver incredible games for The Hobbit trilogy, arguably one of the top intellectual properties in the world," said Mr. Tsujihara. "As we worked with Kabam, it became clear that a closer, more strategic partnership made sense for us both. Kabam is a leader in the industry and we look forward to being a part of their continued growth."

"Kabam offers great strategic vision and discipline for growth and they are the best at what they do," said Mr. Barber. "They are a natural partner for us on both our vast selection of IP as well as potential future projects."

Mr. Barber's MGM co-owns rights to The Hobbit and owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content including the James Bond franchise and its latest installment Skyfall.

The two Hollywood companies join Silicon Valley titans Google and Intel and venture capital firms Canaan Partners and Redpoint Ventures as investors in Kabam.


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