Watercooler, Inc., has changed it’s name to Kabam, and the world of social games have changed very little as a result.
The company is known its relatively well-received games, Kingdom of Camelot and Epic Goal.
Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam, explains the logic behind the change of name:
“Our name change corresponds with a shift in business focus. The future of Kabam’s business is serving social gamers looking for deeper gameplay, whereas Watercooler was about serving sports and media community.”
Ah…yes, that clears it all up. So, when I think of Watercooler, I think of sports, and when I think of Kabam I think of deeper gameplay? I feel like I am in the middle of a Daily Show skit.
Seriously, there is no real significance to this name change, but there is some news here.
First of all, Kabam’s stated goal of combining elements of traditional (i.e., hard core) with social gaming is part of a bigger trend. As Facebook has removed virality from its network, many game companies are launching less casual, more hard-core social games in the belief that traditional gamers are more likely to pay for virtual items and spread the word among their friends.
Two, Kabam is re-branding itself at a moment where there is instability in the ranks of social game companies. Zynga is clearly number one by a long shot. But with Playdom and Playfish now sold off to Disney and EA, respectively, there is room for jockeying to be the next in line.
With all the consolidation that is taking place in social games, it makes sense to try to fill the vacuum and position yourself as a new leader in social games.
Will a name change help? No, only good games will. But if Kabam can start to release more social games that build on the relative success of Kingdoms of Camelot, I suspect we may be hearing a lot more about Kabam in the future.