GO GO! Animoca Brands recruits Power Rangers with gamer buy-up
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Special Report: Games publisher-developer Animoca Brands will power up with its planned acquisition of Power Rangers: Legacy Wars developer nWay for $US7.7m ($11.4m).
Fast-growing gaming group Animoca Brands (ASX:AB1) will pick up nWay and its team in a $US1.94m cash and $US5.75m share deal.
The shares are to be valued at 18c per share or the 30-day volume-weighted average price of Animoca Brands’ shares, whichever is higher.
nWay’s team will port over to Animoca Brands, bringing with it extensive talent, successful branded games, as well as nWayPlay, a platform that offers game developer services to quickly develop and operate competitive multiplayer cross-platform games.
Animoca Brands co-founder and executive chairman Yat Siu described the strategic nWay acquisition as historic.
“Not only are we acquiring a company with experienced management, strong revenues, and successful branded games, but we are also immensely excited about the nWayPlay platform,” Siu said.
“Among other advantages (it) will allow a new generation of developers to create multiplayer games without the many years of experience normally required for such tasks.”
nWay puts out games for consoles, computers and mobile devices.
Siu told Stockhead the transaction would “expand the capabilities and product genres of the growing Animoca Brands family. Multiplayer network play is clearly the future and nWay has some of the best network technology on the market, which we will leveraged across our various companies and products.
Acquisition-hungry Animoca Brands expects its power buy will bring additional business capabilities and synergies to its growing portfolio which names The Sandbox, Crazy Defense Heroes and Crazy Kings among its successes.
Animoca Brands’ other high-profile products are based on licensed characters such as Peanuts, Goosebumps, Thomas and Friends, Garfield, Formula 1, Ever After High and Doraemon.
nWay’s award-winning Legacy Wars is a popular game based on the third Power Rangers film, Saban’s Power Rangers, and has been downloaded more than 50 million times.
nWay’s AAA games banked $US6.98m in revenues in the first eight months of this year.
nWay co-founder Taehoon Kim highlighted the strategic nature of the companies’ tie-up.
“Animoca Brands is the perfect strategic partner for nWay, as the company brings a deep history of innovation, talent and IPs which can help further the main goal of nWay – to create amazing games that are enjoyed by fans around the world,” Kim said.
nWay has a high profile, with its founders and staff having pedigrees at Google, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, LucasArts, Sony, NCSoft, Tencent, Blizzard, Kabam and Nexon.
Kim called the merger a new era in nWay’s evolution.
“We look forward to this new era in the history of nWay and continuing to support our titles and platforms, including Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, Battle for the Grid and our industry leading nWayPlay platform,” he said.
The buy-up will be funded by a $2.5m unsecured loan with attached options, sourced from sophisticated investors linked to the company.
Animoca Brands investors are expected to be asked to approve the agreement at an upcoming meeting.
>> Now watch: VIDEO: 90 Seconds With… Yat Siu, Animoca Brands