Beijing-based Cocos-BCX has raised $40 million for its blockchain game development platform. The company was founded by the leaders of Cocos2d-x, one of the largest open-source game development platforms that became popular for the creation of mobile games.
A few years ago, Cocos2d-x had hundreds of thousands of developers developing 2D games for mobile devices. Beijing-based Chukong Technologies, founded in 2010, was the sole maintainer and sponsor of the Cocos engine in its early years, and it bought Cocos in 2013. Cocos2d-x now has 1.1 million developers, with big games such as Angry Birds, Badlands, Fight!, and Clash of Kings.
Now Haozhi Chen, co-founder of Chukong, has started Cocos-BCX as a separate company, focused on blockchain gaming. The investors in Cocos-BCX include Binance Labs, NEO Global Capital, 500 Startups, and more. Blockchain, or a secure and transparent decentralized ledger, has become popular in the past few years as the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as blockchain. And now entrepreneurs are trying to figure out how to apply it to industries such as gaming, where the tech can be used to verify identities, set up alternative app stores, or make characters cross-platform.
The new capital will allow Cocos-BCX to accelerate development of its new gaming platform and support the company’s continued growth and expansion.
The funding comes after the launch of the first Cocos-BCX demo in March 2018, which revealed components for in-game item generation, transfer, and offline storage on an experimental version of Cocos virtual machine and CocosChain. Since unveiling its demo, Cocos-BCX has doubled its team to 40 and opened new offices in Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, and San Francisco.
Additionally, Cocos-BCX has expanded strategic partnerships with leading blockchain projects like Loom, Ontology, Nebulas, and Cell Evolution, with more blockchain and gaming partnerships to be revealed in the coming months.
“Gaming has always been in our DNA, so we have a deep understanding of what the game developer community needs in order to succeed with blockchain. More importantly, we understand what type of development environment is most effective across all blockchain platforms and operating systems,” said Chen, founder of Cocos-BCX, in a statement. “With this new injection of capital, we will push the blockchain gaming industry forward and focus on penetrating the market faster than anyone else in this space.”
Cocos-BCX was formed in November 2017. Leveraging the Cocos2d-x community of 1.1 million developers, Cocos-BCX aims to bring together the game developers and blockchain engineers to build and collaborate on the platform while also soliciting feedback to help refine and improve the platform. Cocos-BCX’s vision is to become an end-to-end platform where game developers can build, deploy, operate, and manage their games across all blockchain systems from a single destination.
“Building a entirely new blockchain gaming platform from the ground requires building a new engine, blockchain system, and an integrated development environment (IDE), which is no small undertaking,” said Richard Yang, cofounder of Cocos-BCX, in a statement. “We are delighted that our hard work and ongoing efforts thus far have been validated by so many investors and influencers from the blockchain and gaming communities. With this new funding we are confident that we can further accelerate the development of Cocos-BCX to help bring blockchain gaming to the masses.”
Chukong maintains and leads development on the Cocos2d-x game engine. While Cocos-BCX shares the same founders as Cocos2d-x, Cocos-BCX is an independent entity that is not owned by Cocos since Cocos is an open source project, not a company. Cocos-BCX is based on the Cocos open source software framework.
The Cocos-BCX team saw gaming as the first and foremost user-facing application of blockchain technology, so they had an opportunity to leverage their gaming industry experience and existing develop community to create an end-to-end platform that allows any developer to build, launch, and scale games on the blockchain.
Blockchain allows developers and players to validate scarcity within games, prove ownership of digital items, and transfer in-game assets across different games, all within a trusted environment. It enhances the economic system underpinning the game, which is of great importance to players, developers, and the overall gaming ecosystem. These factors will enhance the gaming experience and help move the gaming industry from a fee-based business model to an asset-based one.
The first demo of the Cocos-BCX platform was revealed in March 2018. The full testnet version of the platform, including all core components (the blockchain game engine, an integrated development environment (IDE), and the CocosChain public blockchain) is expected to be released in the fourth quarter 2018.