VANCOUVER, Jan. 24, 2019 /CNW/ - Axion Ventures Inc. ("Axion Ventures" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: AXV; OTCQX: AXNVF) is pleased to announce the following update on the status of Rising Fire as well as new titles in its portfolio of video games.
- Rising Fire is within Tencent's targeted retention rate threshold for commercial launch
- Tencent to commence Rising Fire marketing campaign on WeGame during Chinese New Year
- International distribution contracts for Rising Fire progressing in three new jurisdictions
- Axion to launch three additional video games by Q3 2019
Rising Fire Retention Rates
Rising Fire, the Company's flagship, 800 man-year video game, is currently in open beta on Tencent Holding Limited's (HKG: 0700) (OTC: TCEHY) ("Tencent") WeGame platform. Please visit 'rf.qq.com' to see Rising Fire's landing page on Tencent's website.
Through continuous consultation, partnership and guidance from Tencent, Rising Fire has expanded in both size and scope through the addition of more robust content and advanced user-retention mechanisms. Axion has delivered content payloads for Rising Fire approximately every five weeks since its open beta release at the end of June, 2018. These payload deliveries are updated builds of the game whereby game play is enhanced and complex content is added beyond regular, daily tuning and updates. Upon delivery of each updated build, user retention are tested. This process of "tuning-to-market" is executed in close collaboration with Tencent and has specifically consisted of, among other updates, adding new weapons and improving weapon feel, adding gift packs to level up, updating and creating new level maps, and changing general feel and gameplay to enhance overall player experience and game play.
Highlights – Current Build (Delivered December 2018):
Peak 7 Day New User Retention Rate:
Peak Next Month Effective User Retention Rate:
Average Playing Time per Day:
Based on discussions with Tencent on their historical games, Axion and Tencent are targeting Rising Fire to attain a steady 7-day new user retention rate of 15% and a steady next month effective user retention rate of 50% to initiate commercial launch. As noted in the chart above and based on discussions with Tencent, Rising Fire is closely approaching the threshold of a critical retention rate target matrix that most aptly indicates a commercially successful video game.
Both Axion and Tencent are confident that Rising Fire shall continue to benefit from stringent tuning undertaken in this phase of open beta and that this will yield successful monetization during the ensuing phase of marketing by Tencent which is expected to commence during the Chinese New Year holiday season in early February of 2019.
"After approximately six months and upon completion of four content payload deliveries with close coordination with Tencent, the Rising Fire team at Axion's China studio has substantially improved the user retention of Rising Fire and we believe we are at or near target levels for commercial launch. Given the scale of the product and the many requirements of Tencent, this has been accomplished in a remarkably short period", said Todd Bonner, CEO and Chairman of Axion.
International Distribution for Rising Fire
As Rising Fire nears commercial launch, Axion has increased efforts to engage publishers in jurisdictions outside of China and expects to begin receiving competitive bids this quarter. The response thus far has been favorable in the first three international markets (Japan & Korea, SE Asia, and Latin America) and Axion reasonably believes that it is ready to conclude several publishing deals for PC rights of Rising Fire in the Q1 and Q2 of 2019. Meanwhile, Axion intends on retaining the console and the mobile rights for Rising Fire to sell at a later date when it begins to port Rising Fire to these platforms. "The intense tuning and build delivery since open beta launch has created a backlog in overseas rights sales dealings due to the complexity of the evolving product", said Todd Bonner. "However, the international demand has been encouraging and the team is in multiple follow-up discussions with these publishers".
In addition to Rising Fire's main branch (Player vs. Environment and Player vs. Player), Axion also expects to begin open beta for an independent version of Rising Fire Battle Royale in Q4 of 2019 with Tencent. However, Axion has already been testing Rising Fire Battle Royale as a mode within Rising Fire main branch, and it is already achieving favourable retention targets as noted above.
Portfolio Games Launching
Axion currently boasts a portfolio of nine video games in development (including same game derivatives), representing over 2,000 man-years of investment. Of those nine, five are expected for open beta launch in 2019 and three smaller video games have specifically progressed swiftly through the alpha and beta testing pipeline. Those three games include the following:
- Rising Fire: Spar Wars | Mobile
- Cartoon-themed MOBA derivative of Rising Fire
- Fast-paced battles limited to 15 minutes
- Targeted toward the growing, casual mobile gamer
- Purpose built for eSports
- Expected Launch: Q3 2019
- Invictus | Mobile
- First AAA quality mobile game made in Thailand
- Real-time RPG fighting game with card-game mechanics
- Purpose built for eSports
- Please see the Company's press release dated November 8, 2018 for more details
- Expected Launch Date: Q2 2019
- Fighter Royale | PC & Mobile
- WWII Flying Battle Royale Game
- First game to combine flight simulation with a battle royale mechanic
- Purpose built for eSports
- Expected Launch Date: Q2 2019
In conjunction with the various discussions with publishers for Rising Fire PC, Axion has fielded positive indications of interest from such publishers for its additional portfolio of new games coming to the market in 2019.
"In addition to Rising Fire main branch, Axion expects to launch five new video games this year. We rarely speak of the other games in our portfolio but given indications from third party publishers, we feel that this additional portfolio is material. This is, in fact, the first time in the history of the Company that we expect to have multi-product and multi-platform launches in a single year. Even our smallest product, Invictus, is attracting strong interest from global publishers. Axion has already begun prototyping its 2020 portfolio, which we expect to reveal in Q2 2019", said Todd Bonner.
About Axion Ventures
Axion Ventures is an Investment Issuer with majority ownership in Axion Games, an online video game development and publishing company headquartered in Shanghai, China as well as in True Axion Interactive Ltd., its video game development company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand cofounded with True Corporation. Axion Ventures also maintains holdings in other innovative technology companies.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This release is not a joint release with Tencent and Tencent has not reviewed or provided any content contained herein and therefore has not commented on the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Certain statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking information. These statements relate to future events or future performance. The use of any of the words "could", "intend", "expect", "believe", "will", "projected", "estimated", "proposed" and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on the Company's current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Such forward-looking information are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, performance or developments to differ materially from those contained in the statements. In particular, this release contains forward-looking information relating to: timing and ability to commercially launch Rising Fire; successful monetization of Rising Fire; expected marketing phase by Tencent during the Chinese New Year holiday season; receipt of competitive publishing bids this quarter and the conclusion of such publishing transactions in Q1 and Q2 of 2019; retaining the console and the mobile rights for Rising Fire to sell at a later date and porting Rising Fire to other platforms; open beta timing for Rising Fire Battle Royale; and launch dates of other titles in the Company's video game portfolio. Various assumptions or factors are typically applied in drawing conclusions or making the forecasts or projections set out in forward-looking information. Those assumptions and factors are based on information currently available to the Company. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and the Company is not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein.
SOURCE Axion Ventures Inc.
For further information: Axion Ventures Inc.: John Todd Bonner, Chief Executive Officer, (604) 219-2140; Matthew Sroka, VP Corporate Development, (604) 219-2140; Investor Relations: Prit Singh, (905) 510-7636, [email protected]