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Some Outblaze Milestones

May 1998
Outblaze is founded. Offices are set up in a cramped Wanchai building and the company begins developing web-based multilingual communication services.

 

September 1999
NewsCorp’s StarTV is Outblaze’s first big brand name client.

 

June 1999
Concerned about the growing volume of spam, Outblaze develops and publicizes new anti-spam features, setting the tone for the next decade of intensive anti-spam efforts and zero-tolerance approach to spammers.

 

March 2000
Outblaze is the first company in Hong Kong and North Asia to post a PricewaterhouseCoopers Web Audit. Outblaze commissioned the audit in response to growing industry concerns about inflated traffic figures claimed by many dotcom companies.

 

December 2000
Hello Kitty goes hi-tech. Outblaze and Sanrio partner to bring Hello Kitty into the digital age and offer a Hello Kitty-themed suite of online services, still going strong today.

 

August 2002
Outblaze officially outlasts the Dotcom Bubble (“How Outblaze Outlasted The Bubble”, BusinessWeek, August 19, 2002).

 

November 2002
Outblaze relocates its headquarters from “a drab building next to an outdoor market redolent with the pungent smells of fresh meat and fish” to the newly-built CyberPort(as described in BusinessWeek, December 16, 2002).

 

February 2003
Outblaze wins the first of many tech awards, taking the Gold at the Hong Kong IT Excellence Awards.

 

May 2005
Outblaze collaborates on a paper with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The result is the seminal May 25, 2005, report Spam Issues in Developing Countries, which alerted governments and organizations to the specific dangers that spam poses particularly to countries with underdeveloped Internet infrastructure.

 

May 2006
Outblaze unveils its AJAX Webmail offering, a service which delivers a desktop email client experience using only a Web browser.

 

June 2006
Outblaze joins the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), and continues to respond in the sternest possible manner to the threat of unsolicited bulk email.

 

December 2006
Outblaze launches OutblazeVideo, a web service that lets users create, edit, and share presentations, videos, and slideshows. OutblazeVideo goes on to win a Hong Kong ICT Gold Award and an Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA) award.

 

2007, 2008
Outblaze delivers services to over 75 million users across 480,000 unique domains. The company processes 250 million email messages every day.

 

April 2009
Outblaze sells its messaging division to IBM, who uses the Outblaze business and premises to set up the first IBM cloud computing laboratory in the region. Outblaze messaging services become part of IBM’s Lotus LiveEngage online social networking and collaboration services for businesses.

 

June 2009
Outblaze begins to pivot towards a new business strategy focused primarily on digital entertainment products including console games, PC games, web-based and social games, massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs), and smartphone apps.

 

2009/2010
The asset sale to IBM (a first for a Hong Kong company) nets Outblaze the title of I.T. Company of the Year at the ComputerWorld HK Awards. Outblaze Founder and CEO Yat Siu is also honoured as Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2009 DHL/SCMP Business Awards.

 

2011
Outblaze incubates Animoca, a startup that focuses on mobile app development & publishing. Unlike most other companies at the time, Animoca recognizes the potential of the Google Android platform right from the start, investing substantially in Android development and working closely with Google. Animoca launches the “Pretty Pet Salon“ game franchise, which becomes a global phenomenon with hundreds of Top 10 app store entries worldwide on both Apple iOS and Android.

 

November 2011
Intel Capital and IDG Accel invest in Animoca.

 

2012
The app “BEN 10: Xenodrome“, produced by TurnOut Ventures (a joint venture between Outblaze and Turner Entertainment), becomes the most popular BEN 10 game for the world’s number 1 toy franchise for boys. Meanwhile Animoca continues to produce and publish hundreds of mobile apps.

 

2013
Industry pundit PocketGamer names Animoca one of the world’s Top 50 mobile developers. 

At the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2013, Animoca takes home the Best Business Gold Award. Animoca also wins the Best Digital Entertainment Gold Award for its wildly popular female RPG Star Girl. Outblaze celebrates its 15th anniversary.

 

May 2014
Outblaze-incubated Animoca spins off Animoca Brands and transfers the licenses and rights to games for a number of well-known IPs including Garfield, Ben 10, Doraemon, Astro Boy and others to it. In addition to branded games, Animoca Brands maintains a portfolio of original games covering nearly every genre and also acts as a publisher for third party titles.

 

June 2014
The Animoca Brands Garfield franchise, a series of apps based on the famous comic strip created by Jim Davis, reaches an aggregate 30 million downloads. 

Maths Run, published by Outblaze-created Baby Cortex wins the Sliver Award for Games and Edutainment at the Asia Smartphone Apps Contest 2014. Animoca’s Star Girl: Beauty Queen is selected as one of the certificate of merits winners under the same category of the contest.

 

September 2014
Animoca sells a 70% stake in its Star Girl franchise to Hong Kong listed Crosby Capital Limited (HK: 8088), a transaction that values the Star Girl property up to approximately USD 30 million. The investment by Crosby is one of the largest gaming transactions for a single game franchise in Hong Kong.

 

December 2014
Animoca launches Tiffany Alvord Dream World, a game based on the real-life singer-songwriter who rose to fame on YouTube. The game features a soundtrack of songs by Tiffany Alvord.

 

January 2015
Animoca Brands goes public on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) under the stock symbol “AB1“. The company is the first pure-play mobile game developer and publisher to list on the ASX. 

The Garfield games franchise reaches an aggregate 40 million downloads.

 

February 2015
The Animoca Brands mobile game Doraemon Gadget Rush becomes a global hit, especially throughout Asia where it was the top downloaded iPad game in Japan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Macau, and others.

 

May 2015

Animoca Brands signs deal with Mattel to create mobile games based on Mattel's portfolio of brands.

 

July 2016

Animoca Brands acquires TicBits, an independent Finnish mobile gaming developer and publisher. TicBits has created a number of popular and well-known games including Crazy Kings, a leading mid-core tower defence title and a suite of classic games such as Sudoku, Solitaire, and Mahjong.

 

October 2017

Outblaze and two co-founders of Dalton School Hong Kong set up the Dalton Learning Lab, Hong Kong’s first after-school lab dedicated to preparing students aged 4-13 for a world dominated by robotics and artificial intelligence. Dalton Learning Lab's curricula are designed around principles of project-based learning and design thinking, with the goal to advance students’ capacity for divergent thought, creativity, collaboration, problem solving, digital fluency, and other important skills and traits.

 

Animoca Brands partners with Endemol Shine North America to develop mobile apps based on the hit culinary franchise MasterChef, which is the number one rated show from the UK to Australia, France to Israel, Italy to the Middle East and beyond, making television’s toughest talent series a truly global hit.

 

January 2018

Animoca Brands launches Crazy Defense Heroes, a mobile game for iPhone and iPad that blends the deck building of a collectible card game, the suspense and strategy of tower defense, the tactics of resource management, an RPG character and equipment system, and a fantasy storyline with over 500 levels of innovative gameplay. It is among the Company’s most successful Asia launches, generating about 260,000 installs and earning over A$202,000 on the App Store in its first seven days.

 

Animoca Brands acquires controlling 60% stake Fuel Powered, a US-based developer of blockchain based gaming services and provider of a cloud based features-as-a-service platform that maximises bottom-line results for game publishers through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

 

February 2018

Animoca Brands partners with Axiom Zen to publish CryptoKitties in Greater China. CryptoKitties offers digital cats that users can collect and breed. The game is one of the world's first and most successful consumer products built on blockchain.

 

Animoca Brands launches OliveX to target the lucrative health and fitness apps, wearable technology, and Internet of Things (IoT) market segments.

April 2018

Animoca Brands partners with Coolabi Group to grant the company a worldwide sub-licensable license to develop and publish a mobile game based on the highly popular franchise Beast Quest.

August 2018

Animoca Brands is ranked #47 in PocketGamer.biz’s Top 50 Developers list of 2018.

Animoca Brands acquires Pixowl, an independent mobile game company headquartered in San Francisco. Pixowl is focused on developing and publishing world builder games, the largest of which is the original intellectual property The Sandbox.

October 2018

Animoca Brands acquire a majority stake in Zeroth, an accelerator based in Hong Kong focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

December 2018

Outblaze wins SME Award at DHL/SCMP Hong Kong Business Awards 2018. The SME Award is presented to the enterprise with up to 100 employees that best demonstrates innovation, risk management, operational excellence, social responsibility and employee relations.

Animoca Brands partners with Atari to make blockchain versions of Atari games RollerCoaster Tycoon® Touch™ and Goon Squad™.

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