China's Alibaba Invests in Maker of 'The Hobbit' Mobile Game
The e-commerce giant invests $120 million in free-to-play company Kabam, which is behind such titles as "Fast & Furious 6: The Game" and an upcoming "The Hunger Games" mobile game.
Alibaba's spending spree continues with Jack Ma's e-commerce and entertainment giant investing in San Francisco Bay area based mobile games company Kabam Inc.
Alibaba is investing $120 million in Kabam and will also publish a number of the company's free-to-play games across its Mobile Taobao and Laiwang platforms, including Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon as well as the movie inspired titles The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and Fast & Furious 6: The Game.
Kabam has focused on Asian markets to grow its business and the company opened an office in Beijing four years with exactly that task in mind. The company has done particularly well with its film-inspired games with the The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth already generating more than $100 million in revenue. The company has a slew of games based on movies forthcoming, including The Hunger Games in partnership with Lionsgate and Contest of Champions in partnership with Marvel.
Alibaba joins a list of high-profile investors in Kabam including Google Ventures, Warner Bros., MGM, Intel, Canaan Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Pinnacle Ventures and others.
Alibaba's latest investment in the entertainment industry comes on the heels on streaming content deals with Lionsgate, taking a stake in Chinese video website Youku Tudou, investment in Chinese Internet-TV company Wasu Media, as well as setting up a new film studio. The rash of investment comes just before the prospective IPO of Alibaba that could value the giant at $250 billion.