San Francisco game maker Kabam is expected to release two games inspired by Peter Jackson’s upcoming “Hobbit” film trilogy this fall.
The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth is a MMORTS (massively multiplayer online real time strategy) which will be released on mobile phones and tablets. In this game, players will be responsible for building and managing their own towns (similar to Kabam’s Android-based Arcane Empires, but set in Middle-earth).
The second game, The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age, will be browser-based. Both games will be playable for free (with game being monetised via virtual goods).
Kabam’s CEO, Kevin Chou, explained the non-traditional licensing deal the company has with co-publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, stating that the two are “aligned, in terms of how we are building and operating the games. We aren’t in the business of getting paid $1 million to $2 million to do a marketing promo for a movie. Last year, we did $100 million in revenue, and this year we are growing well over 50 percent. … We are thinking about how do we entertain fans between the movie releases, and tie in the free-to-play game context with massive audiences.”
He did not disclose which platforms will launch the game, but it seems likely that they will be playable across a variety of devices.
He did note that these games will follow Kabam’s style of “mid-core” gameplay, which requires more involvement on the player’s behalf; they will also be as dark and gritty as the “Hobbit” films.
Previously, Kabam worked on The Godfather: Five Families, a social game on Facebook, and Arcane Empires for Android.
For more information on these games, or to participate in an early beta, visit Kabam’s website.