Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) has taken a pronounced step into blockchain game development by entering into a strategic partnership with OpenST Limited, a technology developer backed by Tencent – one of China’s largest companies that owns multiple global brands within entertainment, artificial intelligence and technology.
The move into blockchain game development and ultimately, commercialising blockchain technology, could in hindsight prove to be a deft move with Animoca describing the current blockchain landscape as “the Internet 20 years ago”.
The duo said they intend to develop blockchain games by leveraging what’s known as an OST KIT, OpenST and OpenST Mosaic Protocols – development tools developed by OST.com to build new blockchain infrastructure, including new games.
OpenST Protocol is a framework for building highly scalable “blockchain token economies” which other companies can deploy within their own business operations to achieve greater operational efficiency and to launch innovative new products.
Benefits of blockchain
OST says that its “technology stack” allows for designing, staking and minting of “ERC-20 Branded Tokens”, as well as for integrating user balances and transaction histories, user and identity verifications and parameters, airdrops and analytics.
OST’s proprietary tech development has set the stage for the creation of what’s known as decentralised apps (DApps) – variants of traditional apps that allow businesses to develop and deploy applications in a bespoke way and without a centralised hub.
Under the agreement, Animoca Brands and OpenST will partner to develop products utilising OST and integrate OST in some of its existing and future products, including “WalletPet” – Animoca’s gamified crypto wallet that’s currently in the beta testing phase of development.
“As a blockchain enthusiast and also a long-time gamer, I am excited to work with the Animoca Brands team. In traditional games, players could earn points but had limited options in terms of spending or selling them. With blockchain tokens, such constraints disappear and there are countless possibilities to explore. OST has already built many of the blockchain tools that gaming developers need, so there are strong synergies with Animoca Brands’ expertise in gaming, blockchain, and AI,” said Dr Chris Dark, co-founder of OST and board director of OpenST Limited.
Market for OpenST
OpenST is a non-profit company whose mandate is to support the OpenST Protocol and advance the OpenST developer ecosystem. According to Animoca, OpenST raised 46,828 Ether through a token sale of its Simple Token in November 2017 and will use the proceeds of the sale to fund its development program that will ultimately deliver a variety of blockchain-powered functionality.
OST empowers businesses to “run token economies in their own apps,” and has developed the OpenST Protocol (a framework for building highly scalable blockchain token economies) as the means of delivering this capability to customers.
According to OST, its technology empowers businesses to “easily launch and integrate branded tokens into their apps and platforms to transform their communities into dynamic ecosystems.”
“By partnering with OpenST and OST, Animoca Brands is building a powerful strategic foundation for long-term blockchain development, and securing a savvy partner who has already produced a high-demand utility token and an innovative tokenisation platform,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and board director of Animoca Brands.
“We look forward to collaborating to bridge the gap between blockchain technology and mainstream consumer applications as we bring DApps into the mainstream, to the hundreds of millions of users who have yet to experience the impact of blockchain directly,” said Mr Siu.
According to Animoca, the deal announced today will also see the company serving as an “advisor” to OpenST, assisting it to bridge the gap between blockchain and mainstream consumer applications, with a view to both companies developing further strategic ties in the future.