Wednesday, 23 September 2015 09:12

Animoca’s Armies of Dragons in exclusive Tencent WeChat distribution deal


Top games maker Animoca has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Tencent to publish its Armies of Dragons game across the WeChat platform in key South East Asian countries.

Animoca Brands is a top Asian games maker based in Hong Kong, with titles based on intellectual property including Garfield, Ultraman, Astroboy, Ben 10 and Doraemon, among others, and collectively its games have been downloaded over 140 million times.

iTWire’s article on the Doraemon game had very strong traffic from the region, underscoring Doraemon’s popularity in the region.

Now comes Animoca Brand’s newest game, ‘Armies of Dragons’, as part on an exclusive distribution deal with major Chinese brand Tencent, owner of the 600 million strong WeChat platform - making it Asia’s leading social messenger platform.

As part of the agreement, Armies Of Dragons will be distributed on WeChat in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand for a period of one year, on a revenue share agreement for funds generated from the title’s in-game purchase options.

Armies of Dragons will be available for download on WeChat in November 2015. Although WeChat’s iOS app in China was affected by the XCodeGhost iOS malware incident that saw over 300 mostly Chinese apps unknowingly infected by malware, Tencent has already issued a new version of WeChat for iPhone users.

Despite malware being a serious issue, WeChat’s incredible popularity in China and its quick action to release a new version will only make the platform stronger.

Indeed, WeChat’s popularity extends well beyond China’s borders, amassing well over a billion downloads with 600 million monthly active users up to the end of Q2 2015, having added over 50 million accounts in Q2 2015 alone as it continues its rapid expansion. The agreement with Animoca Brands feeds into an ongoing push from WeChat to diversify its offering and expand into new verticals, including gaming.

In addition, the deal includes the right of first negotiation to exclusively publish and distribute sequel titles or games substantially similar to Armies of Dragon, which opens up further opportunities for the Company to publish additional games on WeChat in the future.

According to the Global Mobile Games Confederation (GMGC), messenger applications play a key role in distributing games in Asia. Games offered via messenger platforms dominate the region’s top grossing mobile game rankings. Asia Pacific is considered the world’s largest market for the mobile game industry.

In 2014, the region’s 760 million mobile gamers generated US$ 13.6 billion in revenue, accounting for 55% of the global mobile gaming market (source: GMGC’s 2015 Global Mobile Game Industry Whitebook - detailed 21 page PDF.)

Armies Of Dragons is a medieval-themed Tower Defence strategy game originally released in August 2014. The game received a solid level of interest, garnering over 750,000 downloads - a figure set to be boosted dramatically thanks to the WeChat distribution partnership deal.

Here is the Armies of Dragons trailer video:


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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