The gaming industry has always enjoyed great success with new technologies. The advent of personal computers, the internet, mobile phones, virtual reality, augmented reality and even artificial intelligence has been channelled to improving how games are presented.
Each new technology brings a better experience for gamers. As such, the industry has experienced explosive growth over the last few years, and it will come as no surprise that the hot new tech, which is blockchain, has been employed to move gaming to the next level. At the forefront of this new development in the gaming eco-system, is Animoca brands, with a devotion to bringing the fresh, new, and innovative eco-system to a larger audience.
The company was founded by Yat Siu, an entrepreneur who had worked very early in his life as a programmer for the giant gaming company, Atari. In addition to Animoca brands, Yat Siu has had success with Outblaze, a company that specializes in internet-based mobile games, where he serves as CEO.
Built on Yat’s vision, the company has partnered with big names such as HTC, Atari, and Softbank. They have been able to raise funding multiple times through venture capital investments, the first of which was in November, 2011, led by Intel Capital.
Animoca brands was also previously listed on the Australian Stock exchange (ASE).
What is Animoca Brands?
Animoca Brands is a game-oriented company with primary interests in mobile and blockchain games, which they believe to be the future of the industry. And as such, it funds and supports promising blockchain gaming projects, most notably Sandbox.
Investment in Blockchain Games
Seeing the potential of blockchain technology in promoting a more effective relationship between game developers and gamers, Animoca Brands jumped on the blockchain gaming train in 2018. The transparency of records and trustless systems made possible by these systems will endear users closer to game developers.
The company knows the level of influence a massive gaming ecosystem can contribute to any new platform or emerging technology. Blockchain is a technology with limitless potentials, and Animoca is determined to enlarge its user base and application beyond crypto enthusiasts, programmers, and financial applications.
To do this, they had to present a new tech in a familiar and exciting experience: videogames.
Moreover, gamers are starting to become sceptical of video games that seem nothing more than an avenue to leech off their users, especially mobile gamers. A lot of games these days are mere money-grabs that suck off value, charging for upgrades and new assets every step of the game without offering anything in return. And this quickly becomes frustrating.
Thankfully, non-fungible tokens (NFT) can change the game by offering non-fungible weapons, armor, among other items and upgrades. Gamers can now transfer their hard-earned upgrades and weapons across blockchain-based games. These unique gaming accessories would be tradeable and can be redeemed back for money.
Integrating F2P with Play-to-Earn
In an innovative experiment, Animoca brands has two of their most successful F2P games, Crazy Kings and its sequel, Crazy Defense heroes, integrated with blockchain elements like farming and decentralized governance.
F2P, which stands for free-to-play, is the most popular approach used in successful mobile games. Games like Clash of clans (CoC) and Players Underground Battleground (PUBG) offer this type of gameplay to users. Gamers need only to download them from app stores and start playing.
However, the economy of blockchain games and F2p games are fundamentally different and may actually be in contrast. So how will Animoca Brands reconcile these two?
F2P and Blockchain Economics
F2P games reward players with in-game currency and assets that have no intrinsic value on their own since access to them are unlimited. Every player gets rewarded with coins, monies, upgrades, etc. that reduce in value as more and more players join the game. And the game developers can just keep manufacturing these assets out of thin air to keep up with the growing demand.
This economic model in traditional F2P games is inherently inflationary. Thus, it is opposed to the valuable mechanisms of blockchain elements like NFTs and the play-to earn model.
Besides, blockchain play-to-earn games, involve monetary commitment in the form of tokens before a user can participate in earning activities. Tokens and assets in blockchain games are usually limited and unique, which makes them valuable. They can be exchanged, traded and redeemed for other assets.
Merging Contrasting Economic Models
Individually, both models perform excellently. F2P games are easy to participate in, drive incredible engagements, and enable game developers to earn profits by selling additional assets or upgrades. On the other hand, play-to-earn gamers have access to earn while having fun. Furthermore, their NFT-based assets have intrinsic value that can be later redeemed, or reused on other platforms.
Therefore, in a bid to expand gamers on blockchain platforms, Animoca Brands is working on combining the low-entry format of F2P games with blockchain features. The experiment would see elements like staking, NFT mining, token-based governance, and a fluid currency across gaming blockchains.
Sandbox on Blockchain
Sandbox is an open-world game where users can generate and build on predefined terrain. The game is very similar to Minecraft, running a metaverse as well. The major difference, however, is that progress from different verses can be transferred to others, and this is possible because of its blockchain support.
Sandbox is built on the Ethereum blockchain and has a native token called SAND, with which users buy, build, rent, and sell digital assets. The SAND token also grants users the authority to participate in the game’s governance.
REVV Token and F1 Delta Time
Another of Animoca brand’s interesting projects is with their trade-marked motorsport game – F1 Delta Time.
REVV is a fungible token developed by Animoca Brand based on Ethereum’s ERC-20 standards. Each REVV token is effectively the same as all others, just like fiat notes and coins are. The token was developed to be a cross-game utility token and was introduced first on the F1 racing game.
In the game, users can buy, engineer, upgrade and trade cars and associated components with REVV tokens. These vehicles are raced in competition with other users with Formula 1 rules, and each user is rewarded based on their achievements and performances. The game is essentially a community that runs on REVV token and is the company’s major play-to-earn game available.
The token is developed to serve all motorsport games on Animoca Brands’ list. Therefore, users can transfer their achievements in the form of REVV tokens from one motorsport game to another.
The cars in these games are NFTs, hence, they have a unique signature and will serve as effective stores of value. Car owners can stake them to earn REVV tokens, which can be used to enter tournaments and the grand Prix.
Animoca brand’s passionate investment in blockchain games is an exciting new phase for crypto enthusiasts and gamers. Their innovative approach to assimilating blockchain elements to traditional games is already bearing fruit.
Placing value and user experience first, the company has made headway. And if they can keep up the drive they might just reduce the timeline envisioned for the adoption of blockchain gaming. But it won’t stop there, an increased adoption and widespread acceptance of blockchain gaming will open up blockchain technology to applications beyond what it is today.