Animoca Brands goes Benji Bananas in acquiring Finnish game developer

Animoca Brands ASX AB1 Benji Bananas Finnish game developer Tribeflame
Tribeflame's Benji Bananas mobile game.

Australian games developer Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) has pulled the trigger in acquiring Finnish company Tribeflame and its subsidiary Benji Bananas Oy for an upfront cash consideration of €50,000, a further €50,000 at a later date and regular payments of €100,001 over time, based on the revenue earned by Tribeflame.

According to the terms of the deal, Animoca is also liable to pay earn-out payments of up to €150,000 payable in 2020 in either cash or shares.

As part of the acquisition, Tribeflame founders Torulf Jernström and Marcus Alanen will join Animoca Brands upon completion of the deal.

Tribeflame founders CTO Marcus Alanen Managing Director Torulf Jernstrom
Tribeflame founders: CTO Marcus Alanen and Managing Director Torulf Jernström.

Tribeflame has launched more than a dozen popular games focusing on tablet gaming, with three of its game releases topping download charts on Google Play and the Apple App Store in recent years.

The acquisition of Tribeflame gives Animoca Brands full ownership of all Tribeflame and Benji Bananas mobile applications and games including Racecar, Tropical Resort, Benji Bananas, Benji Bananas Adventures, Waypoint Warriors, and many others.

Tribeflame’s most audience-grabbing brand has been Benji Bananas, originally published by FingerSoft but brought to market by Tribeflame.

Benji Bananas is a well-known casual game franchise that has been downloaded over 107 million times and earned an estimated €2.25 million in gross revenues since its launch in 2013.

The addition of Tribeflame’s titles catalogue to Animoca’s existing intellectual property means Animoca will have a broader catchment of titles with which to appeal to gamers and also, will add Tribeflame’s founders and their expertise to its own ranks — a move that could potentially accelerate the development of more popular games being made by Animoca over the coming years.

Specifically, Animoca’s acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of the Android version of Crazy Defense Heroes, Animoca’s latest tower-defence and collectible card mobile title that generated over A$467,000 revenue in its first two weeks of limited release on the App Store in Asia.

Animoca development spree

Today’s announcement is not the first move aimed to improve and acceleate game development by Animoca has made in recent months.

Only recently, Animoca signed a collaborative deal with iCandy Interactive and NITRO to co-develop an official Masterchef app, including blockchain-enabled features expected to deliver a wide range of commercial opportunities to Animoca and its partners.

Also, Tribeflame is the second Finnish game company to be acquired by Animoca, following the acquisition of TicBits in July 2016.

Upon acquiring the company, Animoca decided to establish a presence in Finland by co-locating with TicBits and enhancing the company’s development capability in Finland.

Filip has written in both Australia and abroad during his career, covering everything from the global economy, politics and geopolitical issues to commodities and small cap stocks on the ASX.