Animoca Brands harnesses popular gameplay mechanics for new Beast Quest franchise

Animoca Brands ASX AB1 Beast Quest Coolabi Group

Leveraging the highly popular mechanics of its Crazy Kings and Crazy Defense Heroes mobile games, Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) intends to extend its growing success in mobile games by integrating its proven formula into a new franchise called Beast Quest.

Courtesy of a deal signed with Coolabi Group, Animoca will be developing the Beast Quest franchise via a worldwide sub-licensable license that will allow the two companies to co-invest in the production and distribution of a new mobile game.

The new game will be based on the characters and stories from the Beast Quest fantasy world, a hugely popular children’s book originally written by Adam Blade, and now one of the best-selling series of children’s fantasy novels.

The original series was produced by Working Partners Limited, (a Coolabi Group company) and sports over 120 titles, with around 10 new titles published every year. The series has been translated into over 30 languages and has sold over 18 million books to date.

As a quirky methodology to measure the likely future popularity of mobile games, Animoca has turned to library statistics. By seeing which books children tend to be borrowed most often at libraries over a large sample size, an accurate depiction of future popularity can be estimated.

According to Animoca, Adam Blade, the author of Beast Quest, was the seventh most borrowed author overall and the fifth most borrowed children’s author in libraries across the United Kingdom in 2015-16, according to official statistics provided by the British Library.

Rinse and repeat

Animoca is confident that by applying the challenging game mechanics it has used for its Crazy Kings game, the new Beast Quest game could potentially scoop the same type of accolades and generate a similar level of commercial return.

Last month, Animoca said that Crazy Defense Heroes’ commercial performance had “exceeded and continues to exceed management’s expectations”, with the franchise generating A$1.26 million in the first month since making its January debut.

The popularity of the game was sufficient for the mobile games maker to put out a statement saying that the game has quickly assumed a leading position as one of the highest earning titles in its growing portfolio, to the extent that Animoca would be providing “an extraordinary update on the revenue performance of the franchise in the near term”, at the end of the March quarter.

Commercial details

The agreement between Animoca and Coolabi is effective immediately and valid for a period of three years but will only commence from the date of the first full commercial release of the new game, which Animoca expects will debut in early 2019.

According to the terms of the agreement, during the development period and up to the launch of the new game, Coolabi will be a commercial and production partner, contributing to the game’s development costs.

After launch, Coolabi will collect 100% of net revenue from the new game until it has recouped 50% of its license and production costs. Thereafter, the two companies have agreed to share revenue from the game on a 50:50 basis.

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to work on a powerfully appealing brand like Beast Quest, and we look forward to bringing the fun and challenging gameplay of the Crazy Kings franchise to a wider audience. We will work closely with Coolabi to develop an engaging mobile game for all the loyal fans of Beast Quest around the world,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and director of Animoca Brands.

On the opposite side of the deal, Jeremy Banks, Chief Executive of Coolabi Group, added that “the Crazy Kings franchise is already proving its success in the mobile game market, and Coolabi are [is] excited to merge the rich storytelling and compelling characters from the Beast Quest universe to create the next thrilling iteration for game players globally.”

The news saw Animoca shares ticking up 1.52% and currently trading at $0.067 per share.

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