08 April 2019
Animoca Brands appoints former Sony PlayStation managing director as head of partnerships
Animoca Brands appoints Michael Ephraim as head of partnerships for Australia and New Zealand
Mr Ephraim has extensive gaming industry experience - previously MD of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) ANZ and VP SCE Europe for 22 years
At Sony he positioned PlayStation as a total digital home entertainment package by onboarding local services including Stan, Foxtel Play, ABC iView, SBS OnDemand among others
Mr Ephraim developed strong media relationships at the highest levels, and an unparallelled network through successful major sponsorship agreements with the NRL, AFL, FFA, Perisher Valley Ski Resort, and others
Mr Ephraim was vice chairman of the Video Game Committee within AVSDA, leading to the establishment of the standalone games association IEAA, now known as IGEA
Mr Ephraim was also chairman of Showdown, a producer of esport tournaments and the exclusive distributor for Twitch media in Australia and New Zealand
Video game industry in Australia is worth approximately A$3.23 billion
Animoca Brands will leverage Mr Ephraim’s established network and expertise to unlock value through partnerships in the region
Mr Ephraim is a shareholder in Animoca Brands, having participated in the Company’s recent placement
Animoca Brands Corporation Limited (ASX: AB1, “the Company”) is pleased to advise that Australian gaming industry veteran Michael Ephraim has been appointed as its head of partnerships for Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Ephraim is a leading figure in the gaming industry. He was the managing director and vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand and was part of Sony’s senior management team in Europe for over 22 years.
During his time at Sony, Mr Ephraim restructured the Australian division of the organisation to drive the growth of digital games and video distribution. He devised strategy and positioned the Sony PlayStation as a total digital home entertainment solution by incorporating local services such as Stan, Foxtel Play, ABC iView, and SBS Ondemand, among others.
Mr Ephraim developed strong media relationships at the highest levels and built an unparallelled network through successful major sponsorship agreements with various brands and organisations including the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Football Federation Australia (FFA), and Perisher Valley Ski Resort.
Mr Ephraim was also vice chairman of the Video Game Committee of the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association (AVSDA), and helped to establish the standalone Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA), which today is known as the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA). He was president for the first seven years of the association and remained a board member until his departure from Sony.
Mr Ephraim was also the chairman of Showdown, a producer of esport tournaments and exclusive distributor for Twitch media in Australia and New Zealand. He was responsible for driving the growth and strategic direction of the Showdown business, as well as the company’s esports division, Throwdown.
Consumer spending on video games in Australia was reported to be A$3.23 billion in 2017, a nine percent growth on the previous year (source: IGEA, 2018). As head of partnerships for Australia and New Zealand, Mr Ephraim will assist in building Animoca Brands’ profile and partnerships in the region. Mr Ephraim will leverage his extensive network to provide the Company with access to the top sporting organisations and game companies in the region, raise the Company’s media profile, and develop business opportunities.
Mr Ephraim became a shareholder in Animoca Brands when he participated in the Company’s most recent share placement (see ASX announcement of 4 April 2019).
Michael Ephraim commented:”I am very excited to be joining such a dynamic and innovative organisation at the forefront of blockchain and mobile gaming, AI, machine learning, and the digital media space. Animoca Brands has a portfolio of businesses that are very diverse but at the same time have the potential to be highly complementary. I am really looking forward to working with a team that has such incredible vision and passion for future technology.”
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, said: “Attracting someone of Michael’s profile and experience to Animoca Brands is a tremendous win. We look forward to leveraging his extensive network and expertise to drive the growth of our business and brand in Australia and New Zealand.”
About Animoca Brands
Animoca Brands (ASX: AB1) leverages gamification, blockchain, and artificial intelligence technologies to develop and publish a broad portfolio of mobile products including games such as The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes as well as products based on popular intellectual properties such as Garfield, Snoopy, Thomas & Friends™, Ever After High and Doraemon. Animoca Brands is the exclusive China distributor of CryptoKitties. The Company is based in Hong Kong, Canada, Finland, and Argentina. For more information visit www.animocabrands.com or get updates by following Animoca Brands on Facebook or Twitter.