MasterChef, one of the world’s most iconic TV reality-series, is getting a dedicated cryptocurrency-enabled app, to be developed in tandem by iCandy Interactive (ASX: ICI), Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) and NITRO Interactive, a private company based in Los Angeles.
iCandy, Animoca Brands and NITRO announced the signing of a binding term sheet earlier today, to co-develop and co-invest in a blockchain-powered mobile game application based on the MasterChef franchise, one of the world’s top-rated competitive cooking reality television programs. The app will be available on a global basis via the iOS and Android app stores, although a firm release date has not been confirmed.
The tech-market trio will co-develop and co-invest in a global iOS and Android mobile game application, including the opportunity for fans to become more involved with the series and creating significant commercial opportunities for the trio.
First broadcast in the UK in the early 1990’s, MasterChef was re-launched in 2005 before being brought over to Australia’s shores in 2009 by Shine Group. The show centres around competitive cooking with contestants competing on various cooking challenges with known celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay judging each round of competition.
The reality-TV format has proved incredibly popular with MasterChef Australia becoming the most watched television series in Australia and winning the award for ‘Most Popular Reality Program’ at the 2010 Logie Awards. In the last 10 years, the MasterChef brand has built up an audience of over 250 million viewers, is being produced in over 50 countries and broadcast in over 200 territories around the world.
According to shareholder market update, Animoca Brands said it has a non-exclusive global brand and content licence agreement with Endemol Shine North America for the rights to use the MasterChef brand in a series of up to five mobile products.
The first mobile app for MasterChef will be developed by Torulf Jernström, an internationally-acclaimed game developer and CEO of Finland-based game studio Tribeflame.
Animoca Brands, iCandy Interactive and NITRO will co-develop the MasterChef mobile app, with Animoca Brands contributing 50% of the total development, publishing, and marketing costs, while iCandy Interactive and NITRO are expected to contribute 25% each. Animoca will own all intellectual property rights relating to the mobile app but has agreed to grant NITRO favourable rights conditions including a royalty-free worldwide distribution license.
One of the key features of the new MasterChef app will be cryptocurrency and blockchain integration. The recently-launched ‘NITRO Project’ completed its first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) late last year and will be integrated into the MasterChef app to allow the use of NOX tokens (cryptocurrency) for in-game purchases.
The NITRO Project is an independent blockchain project that is designed to address video game economy ecosystem problems. NITRO is building an online marketplace that funds game development whilst encouraging direct interaction between gamers and game makers.
“We are pleased to announce that our first app based on the top-rated TV show MasterChef will be launching later in 2018 in partnership with NITRO. NITRO’s novel blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions represent the next evolution in game development, and we’re looking forward to working together,” said Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands.
The prospect of the one of the world’s most popular TV series collaborating with the unwavering popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin could be a sign of things to come in the Tech space. Animoca has already taken steps to establish a presence in China by distributing blockchain based game CryptoKitties, earlier this year after it decided to purchase a 60% stake in US-based Fuel Powered which has existing commercial agreements with SEGA and Axiom Zen, in China. The acquisition is expected to help Animoca enrich its own products with artificial intelligence and blockchain capability.
“We are excited to create a product based on the well-loved and internationally renowned MasterChef brand. MasterChef game ideas will soon be available on the NITRO platform, and NOX holders will be able to vote for and support their favourite ones,” said Kin-Wai Lau, Chairman of iCandy Interactive.