Special Report: 2019 continues to be a busy year, as the company executes on another round of successful product rollouts and announces more key hires. 

For mobile and blockchain gaming company Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1), the $US140 billion market for video games is a land of opportunity.

Specifically, the company is working to strategically place itself as a global leader in the use of blockchain technology to monetise digital assets within popular franchises as well as original games.

Slowly but surely, markets are starting to take notice; the company’s share price has risen by more than 50 per cent so far in 2019. And AB1 stock edged higher again to start the week after coming out of a three-week trading suspension.

During that period, Animoca Brands reissued forms to correct a disclosure oversight which potentially left its previous share issues subject to trading restrictions. Animoca Brands was subsequently granted full relief by the WA Supreme Court pursuant to Section 1322(4) of the Corporations Act 2001.

Mass distribution of Crazy Defense Heroes for Android

Among the key developments in recent weeks, Animoca Brands has launched the Android version of Crazy Defense Heroes, its mobile tower defense strategy game already popular on Apple’s iOS platform.

The game generated almost $500k of revenue in its first two weeks post-release on iOS, and led the franchise to bring in $2.8 million in revenue in the first three months. Expanding the user-base to the larger Android market has significant potential, according to the company.

Android devices make up around 75 per cent of the global app market. And in a promising sign of demand, Crazy Defense Heroes on Google Play received around 400,000 pre-registrations before it launched.

“The iOS version of Crazy Defense Heroes generated high revenue after it launched last year. For the Android rollout, our pre-registration numbers are good and we have lined up influencers to boost uptake,” said Yat Siu, the co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands.

Breaking records

Elsewhere, consumer support for Animoca Brands’ flagship blockchain racing game, F1 Delta Time, also got off to a strong start. F1 Delta Time is the product of an official partnership with Formula 1, the world’s most prestigious motorsport competition.

The game forms an essential component of Animoca Brands’ push to become a leader in the multi-billion global market for digital assets in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

To kick off the first phase of the game – based entirely on collectibles – Animoca Brands sold at auction the very first Formula 1 NFT, a rose-gold and diamond virtual car called the 1-1-1.

In addition to being the first, the 1-1-1 is also among the top car NFTs in the game, according to its superior stats which will come into play when the full game launches next year.

The 1-1-1 is the only one of its kind, but the winning bid surpassed all expectations and set various records, including for most expensive single in-game item and most expensive virtual car: 415.9 ether – equivalent to around $US113,000 at the time of purchase.

Animoca Brands has advised that it will continue auctioning NFTs in the lead-up to the launch of the full game next year. If that eye-watering first auction is any indication, F1 Delta Time is set to become a key part of Animoca Brands’ strategy of providing  platforms that incorporate valuable digital assets as essential components of gaming experiences.

High-powered hires

To assist with its reporting requirements, the company also announced another key hire with the appointment of John Madden as financial advisor. A qualified CPA, Madden has over 30 years of experience working on financial reporting for ASX-listed companies, including a long stint at Rio Tinto.

Siu commented: “We look forward to utilising John’s extensive knowledge and background to ensure our governance and company protocols become best-in-class.”

Madden’s appointment follows the company’s acquisition last month of Leade.rs, Inc, a Silicon Valley-based events management platform with direct access to a network of keynote speakers.

The leade.rs platform counts among its backers such tech luminaries as LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. As part of the acquisition, Leade.rs founder and high-profile Silicon Valley investor Loic Le Meur came on board as a venture partner.

Earlier in April, Animoca Brands made headlines when it secured Australian gaming industry legend Michael Ephraim as its head of partnerships. Ephraim was for two decades the MD of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand,  and VP of the same in Europe.

Animoca Brands certainly seems to be setting itself up as a small-cap that is capable of attracting a remarkable level of world-class talent and interest.


This story was developed in collaboration with Animoca Brands, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
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