The world of gaming is proving its commercial potential with Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) putting out a strong quarterly update earlier today.
Underlining its strong and “extraordinary” revenue performance hinted by the developer last month, Animoca is also set to move into blockchain-powered gaming services courtesy of a deal with Axiom Zen, a game maker based in Canada, which sees the two companies collaborating with internationally-acclaimed artist Momo Wang.
Largely as a result of its Crazy Kings franchise, Animoca reported cash receipts totalling A$3.4 million for the first quarter of this year. The strong result was mostly due to the Crazy Kings franchise generating the lion’s share of its earnings: $2.8 million since launching Crazy Defense Heroes in January 2018.
The game developer said that during the first quarter of 2018, receipts from customers grew markedly to $3.4 million and the company recognised a positive operating cash inflow of $500,000 – the first positive quarterly operating cash flow result since Animoca listed on the ASX in 2015.
Notably, Animoca’s headline revenue figure of $3.4 million for Q1 2018 represents a 55% year-on-year increase compared to Q1 2017.
Gaming for milestones
Some of its other milestones so far this year included acquiring Finnish company Tribeflame and its subsidiary Benji Bananas Oy.
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.
According to Animioca, the Tribeflame acquisition significantly increases both Animoca’s product portfolio as well as its ongoing games development capabilities.
The Tribeflame team including founders Marcus Alanen and Torulf Jernström was assimilated into Animoca’s game development unit and has already been assigned to collaborate with iCandy Interactive (ASX: ICI) to co-develop the official Masterchef mobile game.
Tribeflame developers are also working on Animoca’s most commercially popular franchise – Crazy Defense Heroes – for Android devices, with a release date pencilled in for later this year.
Mergers and acquisitions in gaming
In the past three months, Animoca has also been active in making several key acquisitions.
The game developer acquired 60% of Fuel Powered, a US-based developer of blockchain based gaming services, which “accelerates Animoca Brands’ capabilities in blockchain and artificial intelligence”, according to a company statement.
In Q1 2018, Animoca also paid $480,000 to Zeroth.ai as part of its commitment to invest in the artificial intelligence accelerator, with Zeroth.ai relocating to Animoca’s headquarters in Hong Kong.
The investment provides Animoca with in-house access to industry-leading AI expertise and provides equity exposure to Zeroth.ai’s investment portfolio, thereby further expanding its range of commercial products and diversifying its addressable market given the quick onset of blockchain-enabled technologies arriving in various guises across many sectors including gaming.