Kabam, Inc., today announced it has acquired Los Angeles-based games studios TapZen and Magic Pixel Games. The move will expand Kabam’s global presence directly into the entertainment capital, bolster the company’s AAA console quality development experience and add industry luminary Mike Verdu as a new executive on the Kabam team.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. TapZen and Magic Pixel will be merged into a new Kabam branded Los Angeles studio near Culver City.
“Welcoming TapZen and Magic Pixel into the Kabam family is another significant milestone for Kabam,” said Co-Founder and CEO Kevin Chou. “The addition of Mike Verdu augments our world-class leadership team, and having a Los Angeles studio will strengthen Kabam’s already-deep relationships with our Hollywood partners.”
Mike Verdu is a standout among game industry veterans with both AAA console and free-to-play experience. Before founding TapZen, he was chief creative officer and co-president of Games at Zynga, where he launched new games like FrontierVille, CastleVille, and Empires & Allies as well as overseeing existing franchises such as Farmville, Zynga Poker, and Mafia Wars during his tenure. Prior to that, Verdu was Vice President and General Manager of Electronic Arts Los Angeles where he oversaw global franchises such as Command & Conquer, Medal of Honor, as well as Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-earth.
“Joining Kabam was an opportunity we could not pass up,” said Verdu. “I’ve been impressed at how Kabam has quickly become a leader in the free-to-play games space, and I look forward to helping the team drive the evolution of mobile games into the next generation.”
Verdu founded TapZen in 2012 and worked with Magic Pixel Games to create the bombastic mobile strategy game This Means War!. As part of Kabam, both TapZen and Magic Pixel will continue to build out the company’s strategy game lineup, which already includes such durable franchises as Kingdoms of Camelot, Dragons of Atlantis, and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth, each of which have generated more than $100 million in revenue.
“Kabam has a proven track record of bringing awesome strategy games to global audiences,” said Michael Seegers, Co-Founder of Magic Pixel. “We are thrilled to become a part of their team and bring our talents to an even bigger stage.”
Verdu is the latest games industry luminary to join Kabam. In November, the company added former Electronic Arts executive Nick Earl as president of Kabam Global Studios. Prior to that, another Electronic Arts executive, Aaron Loeb, joined as senior vice president.
“This new troika of industry executives gives Kabam unprecedented AAA console quality game development experience and global management firepower that will propel Kabam Studios to the next level,” Chou said.
The addition of a Los Angeles-based studio will strengthen Kabam’s already robust relationships with Hollywood studios, a key driver of the company’s success. Kabam has launched free-to-play mobile hit games based on recognizable worldwide franchises by such studios as Disney, Warner Bros, MGM and Universal.
The acquisition of TapZen and Magic Pixel bring to nine the number of studios Kabam has acquired since 2010. Earlier acquisitions include of Phoenix Age (2014), Exploding Barrel Games (2013), Gravity Bear, Fearless Studios, Wild Shadow and Balanced World Studio (2012), and Wonderhill (2010)
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