Mixi, a leading Japanese mobile game and app publisher, announced today that it will launch blockchain-powered games and NFT-driven experiences on the Flow blockchain, which is also home to NBA Top Shot and other upcoming NFT platforms.
Mixi began as Japan’s largest social network, which launched in 2004 and grew to tens of millions of users in the years since. Mixi eventually faded as global competitor Facebook gained traction in the country, but the company rebranded itself as a publisher of mobile apps.
Monster Strike, a popular mobile role-playing/puzzle game that launched in 2013 and has grossed more than $9 billion to date, is the company’s crown jewel. In that time, it has amassed 55 million total players and spawned an anime series and movies.
Monster Strike is a huge hit in Japan, but an English version failed to find a global audience and was shut down in 2017. Mixi also publishes other mobile apps and games, and most recently, Tipstar, a sports betting app that allows users to wager with friends.
Mixi hasn’t revealed much about its plans, but Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, which created Flow, stated in a press release that the publisher has a “epic NFT strategy.” According to the press release, Mixi will debut NFT experiences aimed at Japanese consumers.
Mixi’s fortunes are changing after years of declining returns, according to its most recent annual report, with its 2021 fiscal year marking the first in five years with increasing sales and earnings. Mixi cited the launch of Tipstar, increased use of other apps, and in-game collaborations with anime properties such as “Attack on Titan” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion.”
According to DappRadar, the global NFT market has exploded in 2021, with more than $13 billion in total trading volume across marketplaces in the first three quarters of the year. An NFT functions as a receipt for a one-of-a-kind digital item, such as an image, video file, or interactive video game item.
Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot collectibles experience was one of the early success stories in this year’s NFT market boom, with the company reporting total sales volume of more than $800 million to date. Mixi’s President and Representative Director, Koki Kimura, cited NBA Top Shot’s success as a motivating factor in selecting the Flow platform.
“Dapper Labs’ creativity in design and functionality is so outstanding that it almost inspires envy,” said Kimura in a press release. “In the United States, they have already established a significant presence in the sports economy.” We hope to channel that same energy into the Japanese NFT market by converting a wide range of entertainment and sports content into digital assets.”
Dapper is now developing NFT platforms for the NFL, Spain’s LaLiga soccer league, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The Flow blockchain, on the other hand, isn’t just for Dapper: it’s a public network on which other developers can build decentralized apps, games, and NFT marketplaces.
Dapper claims that over 600 teams are now developing on Flow, including upcoming projects such as Jambb and Genies. According to the firm, Flow is now “controlled by the community,” with Dapper controlling less than one-third of the network’s consensus nodes.