FlowPlay Invests in Future of Blockchain Games with Alto.io Partnership

Strategic Investment from Established Free-to-Play Game Developer Supports Alto.io in Tackling Biggest Challenge of Connecting Games to the Blockchain: Interoperability

SEATTLE, Aug. 15, 2018 -- FlowPlay, creator of the most powerful immersive gaming platform, today announced a strategic partnership and investment in Alto.io, a decentralized platform empowering the entire games ecosystem to mint, use, and sell cryptoitems on the blockchain. As part of the partnership, FlowPlay will advise Alto.io on market challenges and opportunities while exploring the use of Alto.io's blockchain-based game items within its suite of current and future games. With more than a decade spent growing FlowPlay into an established, mid-sized developer of free-to-play games and technology, the company is well suited to support Alto.io in its mission to level the playing field for smaller developers and disrupt the free-to-play model.    

In today's saturated games industry dominated by major publishers with significant marketing budgets, very few free-to-play titles ever become financially viable. This is especially poignant in the mobile games market, where just 1 percent of App Store game publishers make 94 percent of the profits, according to Sensor Tower. With the rise of blockchain, a new opportunity for indie game developers and small studios has emerged to decentralize distribution, ownership, and ultimately marketing and user acquisition costs. Alto.io is one of the first to tackle the challenge of connecting games to the blockchain by introducing an item-first ecosystem, which enables the creation of interoperable virtual game items – such as characters and equipment – that players can use within any game that is part of the ecosystem.        

"Mounting player acquisition costs and a centralization of casual games distribution channels has made the free-to-play market extremely challenging for small developers to break into," said Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay. "Through this partnership in Alto.io, we are investing in not only the company and the future of blockchain game technology, but also the future potential of many yet-to-be-developed games that could not exist without a solution like Alto.io."

The Alto.io platform and ecosystem is currently under development and is expected to launch in early 2019. The Alto.io model is designed for the benefit of the entire games ecosystem – while game developers will get free customer acquisition, players will be able use their cryptoitems across multiple games, and item creators will receive a commission each time a cryptoitem exchanges hands. The model will be enabled by a software suite including the Alto Forge, a tool allowing developers to mint non-fungible, fully tradable cryptoitems and integrate the items games. Serving as Alto.io's mobile wallet, the Alto Backpack will allow consumers to store and trade cryptoitems as well as discover new Alto-powered blockchain games. Additionally, the Alto Wizard will allow for the creation of storefronts, enabling the pre-sale of cryptoitems in an Initial Item Offering (IIO) which will assist developers in securing funding, engaging an early user base, and creating value beyond a game's economy from day one.

"FlowPlay's long history and deep expertise in the casual games space makes the company's insights invaluable to the mission of Alto.io," said Chase Freo, CEO of Alto.io. "We look forward to working alongside the FlowPlay team to continue refining the model, evolving the technology, and advancing the use of blockchain in games."

To help support indie game developers interested in becoming early entrants into the blockchain space, Alto.io also recently launched the Alto Cryptogame Challenge. Following the conclusion of an initial pitch stage, five of the most creative cryptogame concepts were selected to move into the demo development stage. The five teams are currently building live demos of their cryptogames and FlowPlay CEO Derrick Morton will participate in the final judging phase, which takes place in early September. Winners will be announced on September 12 in Helsinki during the Blockchain Gamer Connects conference where Alto.io will award $150,000 in cash and prizes for the most unique and innovative blockchain game demos.

About FlowPlay

FlowPlay is the company behind the most powerful immersive gaming platform for casual and sports wagering games, virtual worlds and social casinos. A developer, operator and publisher, FlowPlay serves both consumers and businesses with engaging online and mobile free-to-play experiences. Partners turn to FlowPlay for its extensive multiplayer infrastructure, industry-leading monetization rates and proven track record helping businesses launch custom-branded online games. FlowPlay's consumer products include ourWorld, one of the most popular teen virtual worlds, and Vegas World, the industry's most engaging multiplayer social casino. Together, they have been played by a loyal community of more than 75 million users around the world. FlowPlay dominates a cross-section of industries including online and mobile games, fantasy sports and casinos – consistently creating opportunities in high-growth and emerging markets. Based in Seattle, FlowPlay was founded in 2006 and is primarily funded by Intel Capital and the creators of Skype. For more information, visit www.FlowPlay.com or contact bizdev@flowplay.com.

About Alto.io

Alto.io is a self-sustaining ecosystem for game developers, item creators and players, built around the blockchain's item-first economy. Through the Alto.io platform, interoperable cryptoitems (blockchain-based game items) are minted, used, and sold across multiple games and users. Headquartered in Singapore and Toronto, Alto.io was established in February 2018 by game development veterans in China and Southeast Asia. To learn more about Alto, please visit https://alto.io.

Michelle Isacson