On Monday August 13th Gaming Corps announced the acquisition of an adventure puzzle game made for Nintendo Switch. The game has been in production for over 4 years and will be finalized by its developers who have been hired and immediately join the growing Gaming Corps creative team. The game was purchased through a cash issue of 3 000 000 shares (Sw: apportemission) as well as an agreement of 25% revenue share for the first chapter, set to launch Q1 2020.
The game is called “Oh Frog” and is a well-designed adventure puzzle game that comprises six chapters in total, each containing ten levels, all with a connecting and engaging story. At the center of the storyline is a frog called Lif who swings, jumps, eats and experiences a wide variety of exciting adventures together with his friends Little Frog, Princess Frog and others. The game already has over 80 sound effects, more than 20 characters and 70 big, diverse levels with multiple mechanics combined. Oh Frog supports both multiplayer mode and battle mode, thus enhancing the experience and broadening the target group.
Oh Frog is attractive for casual as well as core players and is expected to resonate with a wide age group from young to middle age. Gaming Corps expects the predominant target groups to be on the one hand ages 9 to14, and on the other hand ages 30 to 55. The younger demographic will find the game on their own and through their peers, whereas the 30-55 demographic is a secondary tier who will find the game because they are parents of the 9-14 group.
The first chapter is finished in terms of design and programming and will go into final production this fall. Launch is planned for Q1 2020 but when the new extended team is up and running an assessment will be made if it is possible to push the release before Christmas 2019. As usual the Gaming Corps management team is mindful of setting realistic deadlines and will update shareholders and gamers on progress during the course of production.
Gaming Corps chose to make this particular acquisition based on the assessment that the adventure game puzzle genre lacks a proper title in the market of Nintendo Switch. The target group is wide given the design of the game and can satisfy players who previously enjoyed games such as Trine, Rayman Legends and Overcook.
The price of the acquisition is a cash issue of 3 000 000 shares which means that the number of shares will increase to 298 563 956 in total. CFO Bülent Balikci outlines the financial aspects of the purchase:
“Given the substantial deficit that Gaming Corps had when we entered the company, this management team has held off on launching production of its own titles within gaming since the need for capital is large and production times long. We have also chosen until now not to make investments that dilute the stock capital since that has been done repeatedly in the past, adding to the downward spiral of the share price. We do however need to engage more creative staff to manage the current pipeline, as well as find business projects that pay off in a near future. The acquisition of Oh Frog meets both requirements since we can hire two very talented team members – Michail Moiropoulos who specializes in the development tool Unity, and Emmanouil Alimpertis, a successful concept artist, as well as add a nearly finished game to our portfolio. It is therefore our assessment as shareholders ourselves that the 1% dilution of shares is highly motivated and that this is a sound investment for Gaming Corps.” says Bülent Balikci, Chief Financial Officer.
John Chasoulidis was the one who first became interested in Oh Frog, having worked with its creators in the past. With a long background in gaming, he is excited about adding the game to the Gaming Corps portfolio.
“I believe that the multiplayer element in Oh Frog offers the player unique moments and experiences in a way that we haven’t been seeing on the market for quite a while. Most games with multiplayer mode currently tend to follow one specific pattern and repeat it over and over again. Oh Frog is different and that makes it exciting. On an overall level I think that this game is entertaining both while playing on a couch as well as online in ways that bring back nostalgia and core game design excellence.” says John Chasoulidis, Director of iGaming.
Oh Frog is set to be released on Nintendo Switch, a hybrid video game console that can be used both as a stationary and portable device. Nintendo Switch targets a wide demographic of players through the multiple modes of use and has been a success for Nintendo since its worldwide release early 2017. Within a year of release Nintendo sold over 14 million Switch units, outselling total lifetime sales of the Wii U. By December 2018, Nintendo Switch had sold more than 32 million units worldwide which made it the world’s top selling console. With a reach of that magnitude, and the flexible hybrid design, it is a great platform for a game like Oh Frog. Naturally, releasing a game on Nintendo Switch is a good opportunity to increase brand strength at a time where the Gaming Corps brand needs to find a new voice and invoke honest, positive associations with its stakeholders.
Gaming Corps has been undergoing many changes over the course of the past months and a strategy that has emerged is the One Company strategy where the management team has identified the importance of tightening the international team and strengthening the corporate brand. CCO Erika Mattsson explains how the Oh Frog game fits in with the company and the portfolio going forward.
“We know shareholders are hesitant to trust Gaming Corps given previous performance, and one thing that has proven ineffective in the past is the purchase of various other companies. It hasn’t always been clear why for instance a product brand was introduced, and work within subsidiaries has been carried out separately. We aim to create a strong team based on shared values and in the foreseeable future gather our resources and focus around the corporate brand, ensuring that our products are closely connected to the corporate brand, strengthening it from the inside. In a way we are starting from scratch with all our stakeholders, having to earn their trust, and the best way I know to do that aside from honest, consistent communication is to bring forth great products. Oh Frog fits well into our future portfolio and the game’s creators will make a great addition to our team.” says Erika Mattsson, Chief Communications Officer.
Michail Moiropoulos and Emmanouil Alimpertis will be joining Gaming Corps as Lead Unity Specialist and Game Concept Artist, working in the Maltese office. Until the launch most of their time will be spent finishing Oh Frog, but they will also assist on other projects.