When you’re talking about major players in video games, publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Sony Playstation, Nintendo and Microsoft will be mentioned. Just like the rise of mobile gaming brought new names to the playing field, blockchain games will do the same. One of the biggest names in blockchain games at this moment is Animoca.
Animoca is a developer and publisher of games and other apps. It’s a Hong Kong-based company that was founded in January 2014 and noted 14.88 million dollars revenue in 2018. By all means, this is a small company. This rising star is one of the few publishers that’s already investing in blockchain gaming.
Over the past years Animoca has build a portfolio with some major brands, including He-Man, Thomas & Friends, Masterchef, Doraemon and Astro Boy. The company often licenses these brands under the banner Animoca Brands. Yet, none of their games generated the revenue of major players in the mobile app space. Animoca makes the most money from in-game ads or sales of virtual items. More importantly, none of these games are blockchain-powered… Yet, blockchain games have become a major pillar for the future of the company.
In the last twelve months Animoca Brands is really putting itself in the spotlight when it comes to blockchain games. It functions as a publisher or in some cases, it acquires development studios like PixelOwl (known for its sandbox game The Sandbox). Animoca Brands is for example the publisher of Cryptokitties in China. This company isn’t sitting still, and is investing left and right in blockchain gaming.
In recent months:
- Animoca Brands hired Michael Ephraim as head of partnership. He’s a former managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment.
- The company fully acquired German development studio Stryking, who own Football Stars. This game will now incorporate collectible NFTs centered around football players and clubs.
- Animoca became a partner, publisher and distributor for Lucid Sight. This studio has the MLB license, and has created a blockchain-powered collectible game about baseball called MLB Champions. They also created AR and VR games for PC and Playstation 4.
- They acquired a license to develop a Formula 1 blockchain game with non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The game will be called F1 Delta Time, and the first version of the game will be released on May 10th 2019.
- Animoca partnered with WAX, which can be seen as the eBay for virtual items with over five million trades per day. User-generated items from the game The Sandbox can be sold on the WAX platform. Basically The Sandbox is a mobile blockchain game that follows the success of games like Terraria and Minecraft.
- In February the mobile tower defense game Crazy Defense Heroes globally launched as early access on Android. The game is a sequel to Crazy Kings, and reportedly they generate over one million dollars per month.
These six bullet points are all from announcements that happened in 2019. Last year Animoca Brands got involved with Atari, and is now working on rebuilding Rollercoaster Tycoon Touch and Goon Squad, two existing mobile games, for use on the blockchain. This means gamers will be able to own virtual themepark rides and squad members, for example. The company has also partnered with Musicoin, a blockchain-powered music platform for mobile devices.
Animoca Brands is building, and is preparing itself to become a dominant force in blockchain gaming. It has licenses for the German football league, Formula 1, the MLB, it has acquired a head of partnership with extensive experience, and has already access to teams that have developed and published one or multiple games in recent years.
With 15 million dollars in yearly revenue, it’s difficult to name Animoca Brands a major player. But this company is putting its chess pieces into place to make its next major move. Acquisition of talented developers who already have a major user base and signing partnerships with major mainstream brands are key for bringing NFTs and blockchain games to a big audience.
Animoca Brands is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). One AB1 is currently valued at 0.12 Australian dollar. That’s already an increase of 20 percent this year, while it was only 1 dollar cent during the 2017 crypto bull run.
Also published on Medium.