Animoca Brands is announcing two mobile games based on Astro Boy, a famous anime and manga cartoon series from Japan.
For Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands, a spin-off from mobile-game maker Animoca, brands have become a necessity. They draw in fans of the entertainment properties, and they also help games stand out from a million other apps in the ultra-competitive app stores.
In this case, Animoca Brands has focused on the Japanese cartoon and comic series created by Osamu Tezuka, whose works are popular not only in Japan but also in places like China and the U.S. By specializing in Asian brands, Animoca Brands is betting that these titles will do well in some of the world’s hottest mobile-gaming markets.
Astro Boy Flight is available on the Apple App Store now as a “vertical-running” shooter game (or, really, just flying). And Astro Boy Siege: Alien Attack is a strategy defense game that is launching simultaneously on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store today.
“Whether it’s by building our own brands like the Pretty Pets or Star Girl, or licensing them from third parties, branded [intellectual property] has always been crucial to our growth strategy,” said David Kim, the CEO of Animoca, in a statement. “This is our third and fourth game based on Astro Boy, and we are finding that, like Ultraman, Doraemon, and other Asian brands we have developed mobile games for, he’s got a strong fan base not just in the East but in North America and throughout the world.”
The titles are the third and fourth that Animoca Brands has created around Astro Boy. It has also created branded mobile games around Garfield, Doraemon, Ultraman, and Ben 10.
Animoca Brands was formed earlier this year to focus on branded content while Animoca itself creates original titles.
In Astro Boy Flight, you have to shoot at evil robots and wicked mechs who are attacking the Earth and threatening to destroy the human race. Astro Boy comes to the rescue, arcade-style. As Astro Boy, players must fly through the sky, dodge bullets and missiles, and blast the enemies. In Astro Boy Siege: Alien Attack, he has to protect the world from evil aliens who want to plunder the Earth’s natural resources. Strategy is critical as players must collect the right robot parts, upgrade their armies with the appropriate skills, and carefully choose how to deploy limited resources.
Animoca Brands licensed Astro Boy from Tezuka Productions. Astro Boy first appeared in Tezuka’s 1952 Japanese comic book (manga) series. It was known in Japan under its original name, Mighty Atom. Starting in 1963, Astro Boy appeared in an animated television series. He was the first mega-hit in what would later become known as “anime.” And Tezuka himself is known as the God of Manga.
Below are videos of the games: