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Alibaba Group Invests $120 Million in Kabam

The investment values the private videogames studio at more than $1 billion.

3D Pictures/Shutterstock

Free-to-play gaming company Kabam is set to receive a new $120 million investment from the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group, the two companies announced today.

The investment would value San Francisco-based Kabam at more than $1 billion and put an Alibaba executive on its board of directors. Alibaba will also publish Kabam’s mobile games in China, starting with Lord of the Rings, an upcoming title based on the Peter Jackson-directed movies being co-published with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Kabam has run an office in Beijing for four years, according to a press release, where it previously developed two of its biggest mobile games — Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth, based on the more recent “Hobbit” movies. The company has a long and growing track record of licensing movie IP for its games, including “Fast & Furious 6” and upcoming titles based on “Mad Max” and “The Hunger Games.”

In January, Kabam reported that its revenue doubled between 2012 and 2013, to $360 million. The company is known for its focuses on movie IP and intensive fine-tuning of in-game monetization.

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