An In-Depth Analysis of Benji Bananas

Michail Palierakis

Jan. 18, 2023

Investment Highlights

  • You will need to buy a Benji Bananas Membership Pass to unlock rewards
  • The current floor price of membership passes in the markets such as Opensea and Rarible is 0.048 $ETH ($74.92)
  • Based on DappRadar, the game has 28,000 daily unique users
  • You can only earn during an earning phase, which takes place once a month
  • The reward pool for each earning phase strongly correlates with the number of Membership Passes sold

Introduction

Benji Bananas is a mobile runner game launched by Animoca Brands in 2013. The game features casual gameplay mechanics where you control a monkey jumping from vine to vine, collecting bananas as you progress.

You can start playing for free within seconds by downloading the game on your mobile.

Tech / Infrastructure

You can download the game on Google Play or the App Store. You need a Web3 wallet to earn rewards via Polygon, but it is not required to start playing.

History

Launched in 2013 as a casual web2 game by FingerSoft, Benji Bananas was later acquired by Finnish tech company TribeFlame. Animoca Brands acquired TribeFlame and the developer rights of Benji Bananas in 2018. 

In March 2022 they partnered with Apecoin DAO to start rewarding players with the $APE token of the Ethereum Network. The first Benji Bananas Membership Pass sale took place on March 17th.

On April 27th, Benji Bananas released the $PRIMATE token, acting as the primary reward token that can be swapped for $APE.

On September 2022, Animoca Brands raised over $110M in its latest funding round, following up on the previous funding round of July ($75M).

Management Team

Benji Bananas is built by Animoca Brands, one of the largest mobile gaming studios and a leading blockchain game builder, with over 700 employees. The Hong Kong-based company is a Deloitte Tech Fast winner and is ranked in the Financial Times list of High Growth Companies Asia-Pacific 2021. The Sandbox, Crazy Kings, and Crazy Defense Heroes are among the games developed by the firm, as well as products based on popular brands such as Disney, WWE, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, Power Rangers, MotoGPTM, and Formula E.

Various subsidiaries make up the brand, including The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, GAMEE, nWay, Pixowl, Bondly, Lympo, and Grease Monkey Games.

Animoca Brands actively invests in blockchain-related and decentralized projects, aiming to contribute to building the open metaverse, including Axie Infinity, OpenSea, Dapper Labs (NBA Top Shot), Yield Guild Games, Harmony, Alien Worlds, Star Atlas, and others.

CEO: Yat Siu

Yat founded Hong Kong Cybercity, Asia’s first free web page, and email provider. He founded Outblaze in 1998, which created unique web-based multilingual white-label communication and collaboration services.

Yat Siu was named a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. He has also received the Standard Chartered Platinum Achievers Award, the URENCO Innovation Award, the IT Excellence Product Award, Linux Business Adoption Award 2003, and the Asia Pacific Information & Communication Technologies Award 2003 for his contributions to business and society. He most recently received the Hong Kong Business Awards 2009 Young Entrepreneur Award.

President: Evan Auyang

Mr. Auyang also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Civic Exchange, a nonpartisan public policy think tank. He also serves as an independent non-executive director on the boards of the Urban Renewal Authority, Sun Hung Kai & Co. Ltd., and Asia Financial Holdings Limited. He serves on the Transport Policy Committee of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, the Development Fund Committee of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the Advisory Council for Brown University’s Institute at Brown for Environment & Society, and the Board of Advisors of “Hong Kong 2050 is Now”. Mr. Auyang also teaches at the Hong Kong Academy of Politics and Public Policy.

CEO (North American Operations): Robby Yung

Robby founded a variety of businesses in China and Hong Kong, primarily in mobile telecommunications and software applications, cable television, internet services, outdoor advertising, and publishing. He has raised multiple rounds of private and institutional venture capital for these companies, as well as four IPOs, various trade sales, follow-on financings, and M&As.

Investors

In 2018, Animoca Brands made a deal with Finnish game developer TribeFlame, acquiring the company’s rights, as well as Benji Bananas’, for $433K. As part of the acquisition, Tribeflame founders Torulf Jernström and Marcus Alanen joined Animoca Brands

Animoca Brands has invested more than $20B in other Web3 projects, such as Opensea, Yuga Labs, Dapper Labs, Sky Mavis, Immutable, and Polygon.

User Stats / Social Stats

Based on DappRadar, Benji Bananas currently has 28k daily unique users. The game has racked up over 50M downloads in Google Play alone, with the total downloads across all platforms estimated at over 90M.

Benji Bananas user and social stats

Currently, 613 users hold a Membership Pass and are eligible to play-to-earn. Community-wise, Benji Bananas has 15,700 Twitter followers and 2,355 Discord members.

Market Stats / Tokenomics

Bananas are the main resource that you gather in-game. Bananas do not hold any value but are used to calculate $PRIMATE rewards.

$PRIMATE can be exchanged for other fungible tokens inside the Animoca Brands ecosystem (including $SAND, $REVV, $TOWER, $GMEE, $QUIDD, $PROS, and $BONDLY). The swap function, which pairs this asset with other liquid ERC-20 tokens, is the main utility for $PRIMATE.

Additionally, The primary $PRIMATE pairing will be with ApeCoin ($APE), the ERC-20 token issued by ApeCoin DAO and used by Yuga Labs and the Bored Ape Yacht Club ecosystems. The depth of the $PRIMATE/$APE pool is established by Benji Bananas Membership Pass purchases.

The total and max supply of $PRIMATE is 2.06B, while the current circulating supply is 141,087,223 (7%).

Price Charts

The current price of $PRIMATE is $0.0153 and is basically flat over the past three months. With the current circulating supply, the coin’s market cap comes up to $2.15M.

Game Mechanics

The game offers straightforward gameplay mechanics, with the primary activity being the running game. You jump from vine to vine using movement mechanics and collect bananas as you progress.

You may use bananas to buy upgrades from the in-game shop to enhance your gameplay, such as increased vine length and a longer jump.

Meta

Mastering the gameplay mechanics appears to be the most important factor for progressing in Benji Bananas. Skill is the only thing that will set you apart from other players as there are no other options (except shop upgrades).

Earning $PRIMATE depends on the following numbers:

  • Average Bananas / Game (50%) — the average number of bananas collected per game during the event phase
  • Total Distance / Game (20%) — the total distance covered during the event phase
  • World High Score (20%) — the highest world you achieved in a single game during the event phase
  • Distance High Score (10%) — the furthest distance you achieved in a single game during the event phase

Keep in mind that for your scores to be counted for rewards, you must play a minimum of 10 games during the event phase period and hold a Benji Bananas Membership Pass. You can buy a Membership Pass on marketplaces such as Opensea, Rarible, Coinbase, X2Y2, and LooksRare.

Multipliers

  • Players who have 1x Benji Bananas Membership Pass and at least 5,000 $PRIMATE will have their $PRIMATE awards multiplied by 1.1x throughout the event phase.
  • Players who have 3x Benji Bananas Membership Passes and at least 10,000 $PRIMATE will have their $PRIMATE awards multiplied by 1.2x throughout the event phase.
  • Players who have 5x Benji Bananas Membership Passes and at least 20,000 $PRIMATE will have their $PRIMATE awards multiplied by 1.5x throughout the event phase.

ROI Scenario

Earnings will vary depending on:

  • The total Membership Pass sales
  • The numbers mentioned above
  • The $PRIMATE reward pool of the next earning phase

In the previous earning phase, the game rewarded 30M $PRIMATE across its Membership Pass holders. Currently, 2,900 wallets hold a Membership Pass. This accounts for 10,000 $PRIMATE being rewarded to each player, on average ($153), during that earning phase (note that the wallets held at the time were less, thus the rewards would be higher).

Based on the calculations made above, most players will have more than their investment returned during one earning phase.

With twelve monthly earning phases in a year, the rewards add up to $1,836. A Membership Pass currently costs 0.048 $ETH ($74.92). This accounts for an ROI of 15 days or an annual ROI of 2,433%.

This is only accurate if the token’s price and reward pool remain stable. An ROI this high is unsustainable in the long run.

Key Takeaways

  • The game is backed by Animoca Brands, a leading giant in mobile and blockchain gaming
  • Until now, most players who have played during an earning phase with a Membership Pass have successfully earned their initial investment back
  • A very high number of players have downloaded the game (over 90M) but relatively few hold a Membership Pass (2.9K), showing that a great part of the community is web2 gamers

Key Risks

  • It’s unclear what the reward pool of the next monthly earning phases will be
  • The number of Membership Pass sales (and the $PRIMATE price) are the main factors of the upcoming earning rewards
  • No roadmap is publicly available
  • The sustainability of the in-game economy is a key risk
×