Kabam digs into The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth [Interview]

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth iOS
The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth iOS

Social and mobile strategy game maker Kabam has been on a tear when it comes to brands, first with a game based around the iconic mobster flick The Godfather. Now, the developer has two games in the works centered around The Hobbit, the epic film trilogy by Peter Jackson covering the classic fantasy novel of the same name.

But other than the fact that it exists, we knew little to nothing about The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth for mobile devices. Until now. Kabam executive producer Matt Curtis sat down with us recently to give a better idea of what to expect from the iOS and Android game when it launches this fall.

How exactly will The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth be different from, say, Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North?

Kabam worked closely with Warner Bros. to ensure we're delivering an experience that's true to the trilogy of films. In fact, the game will continue to evolve over the coming years as the second and third movies are released, with new characters, content and fiction being introduced. We wanted to help players interact with the world of Middle-earth in an all-new way.

How will the real-time communication and guild forming work, and will this real-time communication extend to combat as well?

Like all Kabam games, teamwork and competition are central to The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. To be more competitive, players can create or join alliances with other gamers to accelerate their progress. The game features a chat and mail system that allows players to communicate in real-time, developing strategy, planning attacks – or just being social. Alliances add a sense of urgency and teamwork that helps keep the game fresh, unexpected and exciting.

What can players look forward to in terms of units from each faction, or how will each faction differentiate beyond looks and style?

The first things players do in the game is choose a side: Elves or Dwarves. Each faction has totally unique art, faction-specific story elements and special surprises. The factions also utilize different units that are true to the fiction. For instance, Elves have archers and Ents while Dwarves have boar riders and siege weapons like catapults.

Given the increased focus on hero units, how will those factor into combat and other elements of the game?

Heroes are paramount to the overall strategy in the game and can be thought of as building blocks to building a powerful kingdom. These key characters are figure heads as they help increase city productivity and lead the player's troops into combat.
In what ways will TH:KOE support that mobile gamer lifestyle, or just shorter sessions of play?

The game-play in The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth is conducive to the shorter play sessions we see in the current mobile market. We've learned a lot from Arcane Empires and Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North that has gone into refining the mobile experience for The Hobbit. Everything from the design of the user interface and session length to the ability to play the game with one hand and our use of push notifications was designed to give players a great mobile experience.

Are you psyched for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth on iOS and Android? What do you think of Kabam's branded mobile games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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