Hardcore social games developer Kabam raises $30M to combat Zynga

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Kingdoms of Camelot
With social gamers predicted to grow to 30 percent of total Internet users by 2012, stories of funding and acquisitions aren't going anywhere. Next in line for some free money is Kabam, developer of strategy Facebook games like Kingdoms of Camelot. The Redwood City, Calif.-based company received $30 million in its third round of funding from investors such as Redpoint Ventures and Intel Capital doing what it does best: make social games for the hardcore gamer, VentureBeat reports.

Sure, the studio of 250 employees only caters to a total of 7 million players--a minuscule number compared to Zynga's over 250 million--but, according to Kabam CEO Kevin Chou, Zynga isn't even its biggest concern. The developer is after companies like Blizzard and EA , Chou feels it has an edge over thanks to the inherently free-to-play model of social games. Games like Blizzard's World of WarCraft have a monthly subscription fee.

"Our vision is to create massively multiplayer social games," said Chou to VentureBeat. "We cater to hardcore gamers who are trying out Facebook and want to play games with their friends on it. This funding round is a validation of our strategy to stand out." Chou believes that Kabam's games will eventually prevail over Zynga's because of its real-time gameplay. Zynga games are considered asynchronous, meaning players don't really play with one another at the same time.

While Kabam's games certainly have hardcore appeal in spades, their barrier to entry is sky high due to massive amounts of preparation for real time combat (one week, to be exact), the meat of social strategy games. According to VentureBeat, Chou promises that more Kabam games are set to launch in 2011. We'll see soon enough if Kabam's hardcore strategy pays off.

What do you think of Kabam's hardcore approach to social games? Do you think real-time gameplay is the future of Facebook gaming? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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