ASX-listed Animoca Brands signs agreement with China's Tencent

Hong Kong-based mobile games developer Animoca Brands has inked a deal with Tencent to further its market reach.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Australian-listed mobile games developer Animoca Brands has entered into an agreement with Chinese digital entertainment giant, Tencent.

The agreement will see one of Animoca Brands' mobile games distributed across Tencent's WeChat platform in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

WeChat, which as of June 30 had 600 million monthly active users, will distribute Animoca's Armies of Dragons for a 12-month period beginning November 2015.

The medieval-themed strategy game was originally released in August 2014, and saw over 750,000 downloads; WeChat will distribute the game via a "revenue share agreement" for funds generated from the title's in-game purchases.

According to Animoca Brands, the deal includes the right of first negotiation to exclusively publish and distribute sequel titles or games similar to Armies of Dragons, which the company said will open up further opportunities to publish games on WeChat in the future.

Based in Hong Kong, Animoca Brands found itself publicly listed in Australia in January this year, following a reverse takeover of Black Fire Minerals. The Perth-based mineral exploration company raised AU$2.4 million to fund the acquisition, and recommenced trading as Animoca Brands Corporation Limited.

Rival games developer, Ourpalm, sunk AU$3.1 million into Animoca Brands in July, for an 11.11 percent stake in the company.

In addition, co-CEO of Ourpalm Steven Hu took a position on the Animoca Brands board as a non-executive director.

"I look forward to the company's future growth and being a part of this exciting phase of expansion in the mobile gaming sector," Hu said at the time.

The deal with Ourpalm saw the distribution and development of Animoca Brands' apps in China.

In its first half financial results, Animoca Brands reported a net loss before interest and taxes of AU$2.1 million, which the company attributed to unnamed investments it made over the period. The company also recorded AU$3.1 million in revenue.

In the first half of the year, Animoca Brands said it saw 141 million game downloads, launched 45 new games, and experienced an average of 7.2 million monthly active users.

Additionally, the company partnered with US multinational toy manufacturing company Mattel Inc, for the co-development, marketing and distribution of mobile games; signed a "celebrity licence agreement" with socialite Paris Hilton; and had 15 games selected by Google to add to its play store "Designed for Families" platform.

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