Mind Candy invades US

London-based online gaming firm Mind Candy will open a US office in the next few months.

The firm may be on the fringe of the games industry but its Moshi Monsters browser-based game is well-established with over 38m registered users in over 150 territories worldwide.

The move is part of a bid to expand the licensing and merchandise side of its business across to the states.

To help it do this, Mind Candy has hired Eric Karp as North American licensing director, while Darran Garnham will focus on licensing on a global scale.

The office will be situated in New York.

The Moshi Monsters brand has branched into the world of merchandise with toys, a magazine, trading cards, membership cards and more available. A temporary pop-up shop sold goods in London earlier this year, and there’s even talks of a Moshi movie.

The merchandising side of Moshi Monsters is opening up a lot of markets for us,” Mind Candy’s head of licensing Darran Garnham told MCV. We’ll be opening a US office in the next couple of months, which will be put in place to drive our US licensing and merchandise program.”

Mind Candy expects to generate $100m in gross retail sales for Moshi Monsters related products in 2011 alone. It also offers a code with many of its physical products which allows users to access new virtual content online.

Garnham added: Most excitingly, I think we’ll see a closing gap between virtual and real world goods. You’ll be able to get plush of your personalised monster, a poster of your avatar or a book based on your social network. It’s currently too expensive but the technology is on the way.”

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