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Kabam Lay Off 8% of Workforce, Focus on Multiplayer Games

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(Credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images) Kevin Chou, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kabam Inc., smiles during a Bloomberg West television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2015. Chou discussed the business of digital gaming. Kabam Inc. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Chou Interview
February 24
7:05 AM 2016

Mobile game studio Kabam will lay off 8% of its workforce. As the San Fransisco-based company will focus on its popular mobile multiplayer games such as Marvel Contest of Champions and Star Wars: Uprising.

The company has not revealed details on the number of jobs to be affected. While the decision to layoff its workforce is part of the company strategic move to focus on multiplayer games.CEO Kevin Chou, as quoted by Venture Beat, said regarding the company's strategic plan, "Our view is that the players are at the heart of the game, and massively multiplayer games are our core business."

As for its narrow focus on multiplayer games he said, "This is what we are focusing on something very specific that feels like a Kabam game. You play with other people synchronously and asynchronously. You collaborate with other players."

The company was founded in 2006 as Watercooler in San Fransisco by Mike Li, Holly Liu, Wayne Chan, and Kevin Chou. Its original focus was to build social media apps for sport and entertainment fans. As an interactive entertainment company, its apps were able to attract 60 million users in Facebook and other social networks.

In further development, the company expanded to develop freemium games for social network. Its well-known multiplayer game are Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon and Kingdoms of Camelot, developed in 2009. The company changed its name into Kabam in 2010.

In 2014, Kabam obtained license to develop mobile game from popular franchises like Fast and Furios and Marvel, enforcing the company to focus on fewer title. While in the same year, it scored a $120 million of investment in Series E round from Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce giant. According to Venture Wire, as of August 2014, the company had raised $245 million in capital and was valued at $1 billion.

Following investment from Alibaba, Kabam is able to distribute its mobile games through Alibaba apps. Since last year, the company shifted its focus to develop a mobile games. As for now, the company are narrowing its focus to a multiplayer mobile game.

This decision will make the game studio to let go its single player game along with some of its employees. As Develop reported, the increased focus on mobile MMO games would see a move away from single-player efforts such as its licensed Fast and the Furious title.

CEO Chou said, "The changes we are making today impact close to eight per cent of our employee base, which includes eliminating some positions in the organisation that focused on our web games or first-generation mobile games."

As it narrowed its focus to multiplaye mobile game, Kabam will lay off 8% of its workforce. The game studio will focus on its most popular game such as Marvel Contest of Champions and Star Wars: Uprising.

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