Atari Sells Rights to Make Blockchain Versions of Mobile Games

Nuno Teodoro

Yesterday (Dec 18), it was announced a license agreement between Atari Inc. and Animoca Brands Limited. The agreement grants Animoca Brands the rights to create blockchain-based versions of popular mobile game titles RollerCoaster Tycoon and Goon Squad.

The agreement is valid until April 2022 and allows the publishing of the games globally, with the exception of Greater China (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Macau).  

The companies also developed a strategic partnership that will look to explore mutual opportunities in blockchain, gaming, and product development. Frédéric Chesnais, the CEO of the Atari Group said:

“We are proud and delighted to enter into this long-term and strategic relationship with Animoca Brands, which also allows us to become a shareholder in one of the most exciting innovators in the world of decentralized gaming. We hope that this agreement paves the way to further cooperation on other Atari products.”

The commercial agreement will require Animoca Brands to pay Atari in shares of the company. Below are the commercial details of the agreement:

“As consideration for the license to develop and publish the Games, Animoca Brands will pay to Atari a minimum guarantee against future revenues of US$250,000, payable in shares of the Company’s stock at a price per share of A$0.11 (amounting to 3,125,000 ordinary AB1 shares); this fee is recoupable against revenue generated by the Games. A revenue share will be payable to Atari after gross revenues generated by the Games exceed a total of US$500,000.”

Atari has been present in almost the entirety of video game history. The company is known for releasing one of the first ever consoles - Atari's Home Pong console - and for creating many well known gaming franchises, such as Tetris, Pac Man, and Space Invaders. Having such a well established gaming company adopt blockchain technology is a great milestone in both the crypto and gaming industry.

RollerCoaster Tycoon and Goon Squad

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Atari is lending the license of a franchise that has been around since 1999, RollerCoaster Tycoon. The mobile version of the popular theme park management simulation game counts with over 19 million downloads. Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, was very pleased with the commercial agreement:

“The RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is, like many of Atari’s properties, a true evergreen, having been around for two decades. Given the strategic and commercial elements of this incredibly fun simulation, it is a perfect candidate for blockchain adaptation.”

Also included in the deal is Goon Squad, a multiplayer card-based strategy game launched in 2017.

Animoca Brands expects to publish both games by the second half of 2019. The new titles will integrate blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This will ensure that items are unique and cannot be copied, while guaranteeing  a virtual economy that is transparent and decentralized.

Zcash 'Company' Changes Name to 'Zerocoin Electric Coin Company' for More 'Clarity'

The Zcash company, which supports the ongoing development of the Zcash (ZEC) platform, a leading privacy-oriented cryptocurrency, has rebranded to the Electric Coin Company.

According to an official company blog post, the name change from “Zcash company” to “Electric Coin Company” was made in order to have more clarity. Explaining that the “legal name” for the firm was always “the Zerocoin Electric Coin Company, LLC”, the organization clarified that it had been referring to itself as “the Zcash company.”

However, the company’s blog noted that the development of “Zcash” is a community-based project and that some of the privacy coin’s business-related initiatives may involve the Zerocoin Electric Coin commercial entity. Moreover, Zerocoin’s operations are not directly associated with the Zcash Foundation - which in itself is a “separate and independent” organization, according to the z.cash blog post. Notably, the Zcash Foundation has “its own mission, team, and board of directors.”

Rebranding Process: New Domain, Change Office Sign

Acknowledging that it will take the company “a little while to get the new branding right, launch a new domain, and change out the sign at the office”, the company blog mentioned that “the name change is public.” Except for the name change, the entity associated with Zcash explained: 

We are the same team, with the same mission: to empower everyone with economic freedom and opportunity. We developed and help steward Zcash.

Zerocoin's Research & Engineering Projects May Not Be Integrated Into Zcash 

Notably, the Electric Coin Company is currently working on “research and engineering [projects] that may, or may not” be integrated into the Zcash codebase, the blog noted. At present, the Electric Coin team consists of around 30 professionals from across the globe that are involved in the following initiatives:

  • “Product Development and Support”,
  • “Builds Zcash software”,
  • “Participates in cryptographic research”,
  • “Works with third parties to perform regular security audits of Zcash”,
  • “Improves the safety and security of the Zcash network”,
  • “Works on the Zcash user experience, such as the reference wallet” 

Company Website, Social Media Accounts To Be Changed/Updated Soon

In addition to working collaboratively on the initiatives listed above, the Electric Coin company helps in “translating content into different languages”, creates "educational content”, and supports the overall development of the Zcash platform.

As mentioned in the company’s announcement, the Electric Coin company “information will be moved from https://z.cash/ to a new domain with its own website.” Social media accounts associated with the company will also be updated.