Game Development Reference
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KIXEYE and Kabam
KIXEYE and Kabam are Facebook's current leaders in real-time and asynchronous strategy games intended for
a hardcore gamer audience that enjoys classic PC games like Starcraft, Command & Conquer, and their many
successors. KIXEYE was first launched as Casual Collective, a web game startup led by Paul Preece and Dave
Scott, the designers of the 2007 Flash blockbuster Desktop Tower Defense. The startup floundered with several
Facebook games before hitting its stride with the real-time strategy game Backyard Monsters in 2010. As the
game picked up momentum, the company decided that it would rebrand itself as serving the growing market for
hardcore gamers in search of Facebook games to play when they couldn't get to their consoles. (For this reason,
it's often called the “mid-core” market.)
In a similar way, Kabam's RPG-strategy games like Dragons of Atlantis and Kingdoms of Camelot are de-
signed for extremely complex gameplay, and consequently attract a smaller but passionate group of players.
Both companies are believed to be earning good revenue, proving there's a market for mid-sized Facebook
Kabam and KIXEYE have a combined audience size of about 6.5 million MAU.
Indie developers should be aware of this conflict when approaching one or the other for development gigs or publishing partnerships.
Speaking of which, the companies also have some competitive tension . For example, in 2011, KIXEYE ac-
cused Kabam of copying Backyard Monsters (see Figure 3-2 ) as Edgeworld.
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