Kabam, the San Francisco-based online game company, recently announced that it has established a $50 million dollar fund dedicated to helping Japanese developers bring their games to Western markets. Wall Street Journal reports that the fund will provide resources for marketing, analytics, and localization.
Kabam has been one of the fastest-growing online game companies in the US. Last year it announced revenues of $180 million, an increase of 70 percent from the previous year. This was largely due to the success of Kingdoms of Camelot, the social strategy game which found an enormous audience both on Facebbok and through Apple’s app store.
As the gaming market in Japan has been as large as it has insular, firms based on the island have naturally been looking outside Japan for opportunities to expand. DeNA and GREE, two other major Japanese online game companies, each took significant steps last year to capture some of the US gaming market with their own games. Ultimately, they saw mixed results: While DeNA saw significant increase in revenues in Q3 2012, GREE closed out the year by laying off 25 staff members in its US offices, in addition to shutting down mobile social platform OpenFeint only a year after acquiring it for $104 million.
Kabam’s decision marks a strategic effort to export Japanese games to countries outside of Asia, albeit in a different fashion from the latter two firms. As a well-established company in the US, it is in a unique position to use its existing connections in order to popularize Japanese online games.
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