Mobile game make Animoca has agreed to pay $US4.9 million ($6.6 million) for a US developer as it moves further into so-called “blockchain gaming”.

Blockchain games are any kind of game that include blockchain technology.

Blockchain is best known as the technology that secures transactions in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin — but it’s increasingly used in other applications where digital dealing takes place.

Animoca already owns the China rights to one of the best-known blockchain-based games, CryptoKitties, a cat-breeding game that uses cryptocurrency Ethereum to trade “crypto-cats”.

Now it’s buying San Francisco based Pixowl, which is developing a new blockchain version of an existing game called The Sandbox. Pixowl also markets games based on Peanuts, Garfield and Goosebumps characters.

Animoca (ASX:AB1) says The Sandbox is “among the world’s largest independent user-generated content platforms and gaming ecosystems, with 40 million downloads and over one million monthly active users”.

Animoca Brands shares (ASX:AB1) over the past year
Animoca Brands shares (ASX:AB1) over the past year

The new version would allow gamers to trade in-game assets using digital tokens secured by blockchain technology.

Pixowl was cash flow positive and generated $US1.8 million revenue in the first half, Animoca said.

The $US4.9 million deal includes $US519,512 cash. The rest is payable in Animoca scrip valued at 7.9c.

Animoca shares have been on an upward march for the past three months, but fell towards the deal price today, reaching an intraday low of 8.2c just before midday.

Animoca banked $7 million in customer receipts in the June half and reported $714,000 in positive operating cashflow.

It had $2.4 million in the kitty at the end of June with plans to spend $4.5 million this quarter.