Free-to-play game company Kabam is expanding into L.A. by buying up local studios Tapzen and Magic Pixel Games and rolling them into a new Kabam-branded outfit in Culver City.
This is notable because it represents a sigificant effort on Kabam's part to strengthen its presence in Hollywood; the company is embracing development of games based on popular movie licenses and has reported remarkable profits from a F2P game based on the Hobbit films.
"Having a Los Angeles studio will strengthen Kabam’s already-deep relationships with our Hollywood partners," stated Kabam CEO Kevin Chou in a press release confirming the deal, which also includes TapZen founder Mike Verdu joining Kabam in an executive capacity.
Verdu has a long history in the game industry, having worked in executive roles at EA Los Angeles and Zynga before founding TapZen in 2012 and working with Magic Pixel Games to produce the iPad strategy game This Means War.
Going forward, Kabam's new L.A. venture is expected to continue producing strategy games for mobile devices. Speaking to Gamasutra in 2013, Verdu stated his convinction that "tablets are going to rule the world" and expressed enthusiasm for developing strategy and RPG titles specifically for the platform.