Animoca Brands, the company advancing digital property rights for gaming and the open metaverse, today announced that it has entered into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”) for the intended acquisition of WePlay Media Holdings LLC, the sole shareholder of XXL Racing LLC, an official licensee of MotoGP™, and WePlay Media LLC, the developer of the highly popular MotoGP™ Championship Quest (WePlay Media Holdings LLC together with its subsidiaries are collectively “WePlay Media”). The completion of the intended acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions. The intended acquisition was announced at the MotoGP™ Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón, for which Animoca Brands is the title sponsor.
WePlay Media was founded in 2014 by Graeme Warring and racing video game veteran Mark DeSimone. It was established to develop MotoGP™ Championship Quest, a major mobile game for the MotoGP™ brand. Following the acquisition by Animoca Brands, Graeme Warring, COO of WePlay Media, will continue to lead WePlay Media and will drive MotoGP™ projects, working with Animoca Brands’ REVV Motorsport team, which operates the blockchain game MotoGP™ Ignition.
MotoGP™, which reaches nearly half a billion homes and has more than 40 million social media followers around the world, welcomed Animoca Brands as a partner in 2019 as the company gained the rights to develop the first NFTs based on MotoGP™. The two companies partnered to produce MotoGP™ Ignition, a competitive management and collectibles game platform based on MotoGP™ and that is part of the REVV Motorsport ecosystem of play-and-earn games. In June 2022, Animoca Brands announced that it would assume top billing as title sponsor for multiple MotoGP™ Grands Prix in 2022 and 2023.
The acquisition of WePlay Media will allow Animoca Brands to expand on its existing relationship with Dorna Sports as a sponsor, NFT licensor, collectible cards provider, and blockchain game developer and publisher. With MotoGP™ Championship Quest - the official MotoGP™ mobile racing game - in its stable, the company will be able to develop an integrated experience for MotoGP™ Ignition players and beyond.
MotoGP™ Championship Quest, launched in 2017, has over 50 million downloads on mobile platforms and around 1.2 million monthly active users globally. The free-to-play app, considered easy to play and difficult to master, has proven itself to be highly popular among fans of the sport. It is available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store and offers users a simple yet highly competitive AAA game play experience designed around WePlay Media’s global mobile esports meta game MotoGP™ Fan World Championship.
In 2021, players of MotoGP™ Championship Quest took part in more than 68 million races, taking the number of races up to half a billion since launch with fans investing around 1.7 million hours playing the game. Meanwhile, the MotoGP™ Fan World Championship meta game continues to grow in popularity and is backed by some of the biggest names in motorsport.
Animoca Brands’ intended acquisition of WePlay Media also comes on the heels of the release of the key findings from the MotoGP™ Global Fan Survey, undertaken by MotoGP™ organiser and commercial rights holder Dorna Sports in partnership with Motorsport Network. The survey results identified huge existing interest and opportunities for further growth in gaming, highlighting that 79% of all respondents aged 16-24 engaged in competitive gaming at least once a week. Mobile gaming was especially popular for 68% of female MotoGP™ fans and with 54% of fans in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following the completion of the intended acquisition, Animoca Brands and WePlay Media will begin to integrate the REVV ecosystem with WePlay Media’s products to deliver play-and-earn opportunities, build on existing partnerships, and welcome new partnerships to amplify fan engagement.
Yat Siu, the co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, commented: “The acquisition of WePlay Media will boost our engagement with fans of the amazing sport of MotoGP, unlocking powerful exposure in both the metaverse and traditional gaming. We are gaining a unique platform to implement our Web3 strategy as we incorporate our motorsport-based REVV Token and NFT programs with the official MotoGP mobile game and deepen our strategic relationship with MotoGP.”
Graeme Warring, the co-founder and COO of WePlay Media and co-creator of MotoGP™ Championship Quest, said: “This acquisition is an exciting development for WePlay Media and for the MotoGP Championship. Animoca Brands has the ability to reach hundreds of millions of users in core growth demographics to expand the sport’s fan base and create engagement opportunities for the riders, teams and sponsors. Our powerful reach in Asia in particular aligns with the largest markets in the world for motorcycle sales and fans.”
The intended acquisition of WePlay Media is an all-cash transaction and not considered material to Animoca Brands.