Animoca Brands' Anichess Secures $1.5M for Decentralized Chess Game

The game, launching in early 2024, was made in partnership with Chess.com.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 22, 2023 at 12:28 p.m. UTC
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Anichess, a subsidiary of blockchain gaming giant Animoca Brands, has completed a $1.5 million seed round to develop a decentralized chess game. The round was backed by GameFi Ventures, The Operating Group, Koda Capital, Bing Ventures, 708 Capital and Asymmetry Capital. The capital will go toward team expansion and further game development ahead of the alpha launch in the first quarter of 2024.

Anichess, made in partnership between Animoca Brands and Chess.com-owned Play Magnus Group (PMG) and its Champions Chess Tour, is a community-driven, free-to-play game that’s billed as having “new strategic layers powered by magical spells.” Anichess combines the core rules of a classic chess game with a so-called “spell mechanic” that includes a range of offensive, defensive and counter tactics. There will also be esports-like elements added through challenges.

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  • Chess.com, which acquired PMG in December, has more than 100 million registered users.

    Grant Lee, chief strategy officer of Chess.com, said in the press release: "We are excited about partnering with Animoca Brands to provide some of the top players and influencers in our ecosystem with a fun and different chess experience as part of our overall mission to grow the game by presenting chess in new ways to different audiences."

    Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.

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    Brandy Betz

    Brandy covered crypto-related venture capital deals for CoinDesk.


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