While being a leading investor in blockchain gaming and NFT startups, it also published its own NFT-powered games, including the metaverse experience, The Sandbox. However, in recent months, Animoca Brands has been on a serious acquisition spree.
Since the start of 2022, the company has acquired three development studios Eden Games, Darewise Entertainment, and Grease Monkey Games. "We're not done acquiring," Animoca Brands founder and Executive Chairman Yat Siu said in an interview. "What we're looking to do is to acquire companies in different fields of gameplay in which we don't quite have the exposure."
Meanwhile, Eden and Grease Monkey are focused on racing games, fitting well with Animoca's existing Revv token ecosystem. It includes REVV Racing on Polygon and MotoGP Ignition on Flow. Furthermore, Grease Monkey's upcoming Torque Drift 2 will also integrate into the REVV ecosystem.
Earlier this month, Animoca Brands acquired Eden Games for $16 million. Founded in 1998, Eden Games is a veteran studio known for the Need for Speed and Test Drive franchises and the officially licensed Formula One mobile game. While the studio has focused more on mobile games in recent years, it has a history of producing robust pc and console racing games.
Siu believes that eventually, blockchain games will also reach a similar quality standard. According to him, game development on a blockchain is similar to the mobile space. Back then, simple, early hits like Angry Birds paved the way for more polished 3D titles. However, we don't have to wait for hardware to catch up in the present scenario.
"We can accelerate that much faster, which is why we are acquiring these studios with this kind of reputation and building very high-quality games on blockchain," added Siu.
But why acquire game studios instead of partnering with them through a publishing agreement? According to Siu, it is a matter of shouldering the risk and responsibilities of launching Web3 games. Obviously, Web3 games are relatively new and rely on experimental business models.
Siu explained, "What we realized almost four years ago when we embarked on this mission is that it's very hard to onboard people and studios into the space unless … essentially, the responsibility of making a mistake is not theirs anymore. In other words, if things go wrong, it's our fault."
While Animoca Brands still publishes licensed brand games like MotoGP and Formula E, the firm is moving focus to fully owned IP. That includes NFT-based properties born out of the Web3 space.
"What we're taking is a metaverse-first IP approach," Siu affirmed.
For example, Eden Games is developing a new racing game series under Animoca. As per the official acquisition announcement, it will support the existing REVV ecosystem games.
Meanwhile, Animoca Brands is also working in collaboration with Yuga Labs on an Ape Coin-based project, which might be the upcoming Otherside metaverse. Without any specific details, Yuga Labs has announced the Otherside project launch on April 30.