GamesBeat 2013 Discusses Industry Darwinism
During GamesBeat 2013, Kevin Chou, the CEO of Kabam, was interviewed by Chris Kohler of Wired Game Life. The title of this discussion was Industry Darwinism: Growth Depends on Rapid Deployment on New Platforms.
Chou’s company, Kabam, originally began with free to play games on Facebook in September of 2009. Their first game, Kingdoms of Camelot, was revolutionary for social gaming as there was no energy bar, no requirement for players to recruit friends, and no spamming player’s walls with posts.
After two successful years on Facebook, Kabam branched out to other platforms. They turned their website, Kabam.com, into a free to play gaming platform and also made their games available on Congregate, Yahoo, Steam, and other websites. Kingdoms of Camelot was released on iOS and later for Android. They focus on maintaining the same gameplay over the many platforms that they utilize.
Kabam.com does not exclusively host Kabam games, though. It is now a platform for other developers to use. This was something they put a lot of thought into when developing their site.
“I think we realized that to make our own games work on Kabam.com, or just across the broader web in general, that there would be a whole new layer of technology infrastructure that we needed to build. And if we invested another level of investment on top of what we already had to build anyway, that we could make it available to other game developers and…make it a lot easier for them to take their games outside of Facebook and on to other platforms.” -Kevin Chou
Chou says that developments for how games are played via smartphones and tablets will help to grow the industry, too. For example, the ability for a player to hook up a controller to use as an input device or to view their smartphone/tablet screen on a television. Game genres that have either not been explored or have been unsuccessful on the mobile market will then have a shot, like first person shooters.
In response to a question from the audience, Chou agrees that it was much easier for them to move across platforms due to their following on Facebook. It was easier to attract players online rather than on the mobile market, where games must be downloaded before they can be played.
It will be interesting to see how these new platforms develop over time.