When Kabam first released “The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth” late last year, it was obviously timed to coincide with the first of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” films, which hit screens about a month later. Yet it didn’t have a super strong tie-in to the events of that movie during the course of normal gameplay.
Consider the ante upped thanks to “The Desolation of Smaug” expansion, titled after the second flick and now live. The big news is the appearance of the fire-breathing drake himself, who serves as a giant new obstacle to overcome in the mobile game’s PvE quests. Players will be able to get their hands on powerful new weapons and armor in order to battle Smaug, which is probably a good thing since he only had one weak point (bonus points as a Tolkien nerd if you remember where that is).
Kabam is already having itself a memorable week, entering into the largest naming rights deal in college sports history by paying $18 million to Cal to rename its football stadium Kabam Field (That’s a lot of microtransactions, folks!). Clearly the company is feeling its oats right now, and high profile licenses like “The Hobbit” certainly help. As evidence, Kabam has released some stats that claim over one million alliances have been formed in the game and more than four million battles are fought each day.
“The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth” is a free download for iOS and Android devices.