Hardcore social games developer Kabam has created two new business units, Kabam Game Studios and Kabam Game Distribution. The company said the action was a natural result of its worldwide expansion in both scope and platforms.

Kevin Chou, chief executive officer and co-founder, promoted two executives to head each of the new units as president. Andrew Sheppard will be responsible for Studios and Amit Ranade will take charge of Distribution.

Sheppard will oversee 12 web and mobile development teams and will manage product marketing, community and other related functions. He previously served as chief product officer, in which role he presided over the growth of Kingdoms of Camelot (concept art pictured) and was key to bringing other games to market including Dragons of Atlantis, Edgeworld and The Godfather: Five Families. He joined Kabam from hi5 Networks.

Ranade will be responsible for customer acquisition, retention and value optimization, overseeing platform operations and distribution for all games and lifecycle management among other operational aspects. He most recently served as vice president and general manager of Web Games for Kabam San Francisco. He also joined Kabam from hi5, having previously worked at Nextag.

“As the trend toward free-to-play, streaming gameplay model disrupts the traditional games industry, there are two key components for success – high quality games that delight and engage core gamers and the ability to optimize traffic acquisition, retention and lifetime value,” Chou said in a statement. “We have been steadily building our game studio capabilities, technology, analytics and marketing prowess. This enables us to not only make great hardcore social games, but also to optimize the distribution of those games. This new structural alignment into two business units is a natural step for us to take and will enable Kabam to maintain its leadership in F2P core games.”

In November, Kabam began selling pre-paid branded game cards at GameStop and Best Buy nationwide that can be redeemed through Facebook or on Kabam’s own site. Founded in 2006, Kabam has offices in San Francisco and Redwood City, Calif., Beijing and Luxembourg.

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