Kabam says game over for new Windows Phone apps

Despite the potential broad audience for universal Windows apps, Kabam is backing off a prior initiative to bring its games to Windows Phones.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

Add another mobile developer to the list that's choosing to bypass Microsoft Windows Phone. Kabam says it's going to focus on the Google Android and Apple iOS platforms moving forward. The news is somewhat surprising since the game development company announced an agreement with Microsoft last June to bring a number of titles to Windows Phone.

Kabam released an email statement to Windows Central sharing the news on Tuesday:

"Kabam is now concentrating development on AAA quality games for Apple and Android mobile devices and has decided not pursue development for Windows Phones. Kabam is concentrating its resources on the biggest market opportunity, which is Apple and Android devices worldwide."

The timing of the platform focus is interesting when you consider the fact that Microsoft is moving towards universal app with the upcoming Windows 10 software. With minimal effort, developers should be able to create apps that will run on most phones, tablets, laptops and desktops that run Windows 10.

It makes sense to devote resources towards the mobile platforms with the largest market share -- Android and iOS power 96.3 percent of the worldwide smartphones sold last year, according to IDC -- but Kabam isn't lacking for resources.

The company ended 2014 with record revenues of $400 million, up from $180 million in 2012. And last August, Kabam was infused with a $120 million investment from China-based e-commrce company Alibaba. It almost makes me wonder: With the investment round closing after the announced Microsoft agreement, did Alibaba suggest that Kabam focus solely on the two larger mobile platforms?

Regardless of the answer to that question, it seems like Kabam won't be fulfilling the July 2014 agreement to bring multiple games to Windows Phone after all. The company released a single title, Fast and Furious 6, back in November and there's no indication that any of its other games will follow.

Fast and Furious 6 for Windows Phone

One game developer alone doesn't make or break a platform, of course. Still, it's concerning that a reasonably large one isn't going to support Microsoft's efforts. Unfortunately, the mobile market is one of momentum and self-fulfilling prophesies: If app makers don't think a platform has enough potential to grow, they're less likely to devote resources to it. And in turn, that reduces app choices for the platform, making it more challenging for it to grow in the first place.

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