Pixowl is an independent mobile developer with 10's of millions of downloads under its belt, all thanks to its highly popular The Sandbox series of games. The studio was just purchased by the publisher Animoca Brands for an upfront consideration of $4.875 million in cash and shares. The thing to understand is that The Sandbox is among the world’s largest independent user-generated content platforms and gaming ecosystems, and while it is no Minecraft or Roblox, it surely has a lot of potential to find just as much success.

First I would like to mention that this acquisition does not mean Pixowl has given up on its plans to create a blockchain version of The Sandbox. So make sure to keep an eye out for the world’s first title to include a marketplace for user-generated non-fungible tokens. After all, the CEO of Pixowl has clearly stated that blockchain is particularly relevant to The Sandbox because it has so many individual creators, which makes sense. This way each player should be able to own and sell the items they create in the game world, which sounds pretty cool. Let's hope Pixowl can deliver.

I suppose the general idea behind this purchase is that Pixowl’s highly experienced development team will somehow enhance Animoca Brands’ operational base and mobile/blockchain development capabilities, which sounds like a good enough reason to me, especially after perusing Animoca Brands Play Store catalog. It's clear the company could use all the help it can get when title after title is just a popular brand slapped on the same old tired clones we've all seen before. So maybe some new blood in the company will help to revitalize its current catalog. I suppose only time will tell.

Press Release

Animoca Brands acquires Pixowl, developer of The Sandbox game for mobile and blockchain

Highlights:

Animoca Brands to acquire independent mobile game company Pixowl, Inc., for an upfront consideration of US$4.875 million in cash and shares

Pixowl is an independent mobile game company focused on world builder games, with a portfolio that includes The Sandbox, Peanuts: Snoopy’s Town Tale, Garfield: Survival of the Fattest, and Goosebumps HorrorTown

The Sandbox is among the world’s largest independent user-generated content platforms and gaming ecosystems, with 40 million downloads and over one million monthly active users

Pixowl is developing a blockchain version of The Sandbox, considered one of the most anticipated blockchain games globally

Pixowl will launch of the world’s first marketplace for user-generated non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where players will trade game assets

Ed Fries, the creator of Microsoft Game Studios and co-founder of the Xbox project, is a special advisor to Pixowl and The Sandbox, and will continue his advisory role after the Acquisition

The Acquisition provides significant synergy and strategic value for gaming and blockchain development

Pixowl’s highly experienced team will enhance Animoca Brands’ operational base and mobile/blockchain development capability

HONG KONG and SAN FRANCISCO - 27 August 2018 - Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (ASX:AB1, the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (such purchase, the “Acquisition”, and such agreement, the “SPA”) to acquire 100% of the issued capital in Pixowl, Inc., (“Pixowl”) for a total upfront consideration of US$4.875 million, of which US$519,512 is cash and the rest in shares of Animoca Brands.

Pixowl is an independent mobile game company headquartered in San Francisco, USA, with development studios in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Pixowl is focused on developing and publishing world builder games, the largest of which is the original intellectual property The Sandbox.

The Sandbox, available for iOS and Android devices, is a 2D pixel-based world creation game that is among Pixowl’s most successful titles. The Sandbox is one of the world’s largest independent user-generated content platforms and gaming ecosystems, with 40 million downloads and over one million monthly active users (MAU) who create approximately 100,000 new worlds and 25,000 new world elements every day.

Pixowl recently announced it is developing a version of The Sandbox for blockchain, expected to launch in 2019. The first milestone in late 2018 will be the launch of the world’s first marketplace for user-generated non-fungible tokens (NFTs), where players will trade game assets and monetise the time and effort they have invested playing. The blockchain version of The Sandbox has been named one of the top 10 most anticipated blockchain games in the world (source: BlockchainGamer.biz, 4 July 2018). Pixowl regularly publishes updates about its game platform on Medium at https://medium.com/sandbox-game.

The Sandbox is preparing a highly anticipated ERC-20 token sale to fund the launch of the blockchain version of The Sandbox and of its free and open decentralized marketplace for voxel creators and world builders (the token sale is a pre-sale for “SAND” tokens that will serve as the main currency in the blockchain version of The Sandbox). More information will be posted on the main website at www.sandbox.game later this year.

In addition to The Sandbox, Pixowl has other successful mobile titles in its portfolio that align well with Animoca Brands’ strategy, including both original and licensed brand titles like Peanuts: Snoopy’s Town Tale, Garfield: Survival of the Fattest, and Goosebumps HorrorTown. Two additional titles featuring popular brands The Loud House and WonderPark are in development and scheduled for launch later in 2018 and 2019.

Ed Fries, the creator of Microsoft Game Studios and co-founder of the Xbox project, is a special advisor to Pixowl and will continue his advisory role on The Sandbox after the Acquisition.

The Acquisition enhances the Company’s operational base and mobile development proficiency, providing an experienced development team that will help to lower the Company’s average operational costs while increasing its capabilities, including in the area of blockchain development.

Both the founders of Pixowl and the management of Animoca Brands believe that the Acquisition provides significant synergies and strategic value.

Yat Siu, co-founder and director of Animoca Brands, commented: “Our acquisition of Pixowl provides powerful strategic and operational synergies with Animoca Brands. Pixowl’s experienced developers will significantly increase our development capabilities. Its founders are highly respected game industry veterans who have developed multimillion dollar franchises. We believe the blockchain version of The Sandbox has incredible potential. Pixowl shares our vision of blockchain gaming, NFT's, and games as a platform. Like us, it has a number of world-renowned brand licenses, including Snoopy and Goosebumps. We look forward to utilising the many opportunities for growth conferred by this acquisition.”

Arthur Madrid, the CEO and founder of Pixowl, commented: “Animoca Brands is a perfect fit for Pixowl and we are happy to add our brand relationships to its portfolio while accelerating growth for our key IP, The Sandbox, with a new 3D version that will integrate blockchain technology and demonstrate our vision of a next-generation User Generated Content gaming ecosystem.”