Animoca Brands opens share trading hub, promotes ‘true digital ownership’ for gamers

Animoca Brands share trading PrimaryMarkets NFTs true digital ownership
Animoca Brands' shares can be traded on PrimaryMarkets starting 24 June 2020.

Unlisted game developer Animoca Brands has appointed trading platform PrimaryMarkets to manage a private secondary share trading hub for its existing investors.

The trading hub is a secure, controlled environment to enable investors to list and trade shares of Animoca Brands transparently, independently and confidentially.

It will be available from 24 June and will require users to register before being allowed to view and submit trade notices and access investor resources.

PrimaryMarkets offers secondary share trading facilities for security holders of unlisted companies, providing a venue to seek liquidity via an online platform as well as specially-created hubs for private trading.

Animoca Brands was delisted from the ASX in March, due to governance issues and the company’s involvement with blockchain technology and controversial digital asset cryptocurrency.

True digital ownership

Earlier this month, co-founder and chairman Yat Siu updated investors on Animoca Brands’ “notable progress” since announcing its vision in 2018 to become a game industry leader.

The Hong Kong-based entrepreneur said the company had experienced “strong influence and opportunity” in the space of blockchain gaming, and is now ranked fifth on BlockchainGamer.biz’s annual list of the Top 50 blockchain companies.

Mr Siu spoke of the opportunity for blockchain technology to provide “true digital ownership” to the world’s 2.5 billion gamers.

Global virtual goods market 2025 chart
Global virtual goods market 2015-2025 (expected) is US$ billion.

“Almost everyone who plays video games today buys some form of virtual goods, such as virtual cars, character equipment and “skins” [and] most players think they own the virtual goods they purchase but they don’t,” he said.

“That’s because virtual goods are typically provided as a licenced service, and are subject to the terms of service a publisher has specified for the use of those assets – in effect, the games industry is renting virtual goods to players [and] that’s not ownership.”

Player engagement

According to Animoca Brands, the rental system limits player engagement and therefore restricts the full potential of the games industry.

“This is a factor that we believe contributes to the extremely low player conversion rates in gaming, which has an average conversion rate from a free to a paying user of under 3%,” Mr Siu said.

“Why would users want to pay for something that they never actually own, and that can be taken away whenever a game publisher decides to shut down the game or alter its terms of service?”

Missing link

Animoca Brands promotes blockchain and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as the “missing link” which could significantly increase player conversion rates.

“Gamers will gain greater confidence to spend their time and money in games and other digital products if they have assurances of genuine digital ownership and permanence,” Mr Siu said.

“We believe that genuine digital ownership and cross-platform operability will drive significant demand for digital products and services, and evolve into a new market for digital goods which did not even exist just a few years ago.”

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