Animoca Brands, the company Hong Kong-based firm advancing digital property rights for gaming and the metaverse, announced Wednesday it will acquire Darewise Entertainment, a France-based game developer founded by veterans of the AAA games industry that is currently developing the blockchain game MMO Life Beyond.

The collaboration between Animoca Brands and Darewise Entertainment will facilitate planned growth, accelerate game development, and combine expert AAA video game development with blockchain integration, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and play-and-earn capabilities, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

It also said Animoca Brands will assist Darewise Entertainment to fast-track development and publishing in the Web3 space.

Darewise Entertainment is a European game studio made up of highly accomplished game developers with deep experience in various highly popular and successful AAA games, including Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Dying Light 2, Black & White, Tom Clancy’s The Division, and the Fable series. The studio was co-founded by former Ubisoft game director Benjamin Charbit and former Ubisoft and Crytek tech lead Samuel Kahn, both of whom will continue to operate the company after the acquisition.

“Bringing on board Darewise Entertainment is incredibly exciting. Its game Life Beyond is an MMORPG of great beauty and scale that will be a strong addition to the open metaverse. Benjamin and Samuel have built a world-class team that is creating a play-and-earn game universe that is intricate, sophisticated, and deeply engaging,” said Yat Siu, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands.

According to the statement, Darewise Entertainment’s first game, Life Beyond, is currently in development. It is a fast-paced and ever-evolving modern persistent massively multiplayer online game set on Dolos, a fascinating alien world where players will create and foster a new society in which social behaviors and technology will determine success.

Life Beyond will be free-to-play (F2P) and will have a low barrier of entry; a series of free drops of the NFTs required to play the game will be announced soon. Initially, the game will be available on personal computer (PC).Powered by Web3 and blockchain technologies, Life Beyond will pioneer the emerging genre of the play-and-earn massively multiplayer online (MMO).

“Since late 2017, we’ve firmly believed that virtual existence will become at least as important as the physical one. Over time it became obvious that we’re a Web3 company at our core and that blockchain offers the means to achieve our vision. As we watched Animoca Brands set out the blueprint of the open metaverse with projects like The Sandbox, REVV, and Phantom Galaxies, we knew that we would benefit enormously from its Web3 expertise and network. We are thrilled to be a part of this endeavour,” said Benjamin Charbit, Chief Executive Officer of Darewise Entertainment.

Animoca Brands develops and publishes a broad portfolio of products including the REVV token and SAND token; original games including The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes; and products utilizing popular intellectual properties including Disney, WWE, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGP™, and Formula E.

The company has multiple subsidiaries, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, Lympo, Grease Monkey Games, and Eden Games. It has a growing portfolio of more than 170 investments in NFT-related companies and decentralized projects that are contributing to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others.

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