While the COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly damaged many sectors there are still opportunities out there. Enforced lockdowns and furloughs have given everyone less leisure options and more free time. This has created a watershed moment for the mobile gaming industry and there are few companies better positioned to take advantage of this than Leaf Mobile, Inc. (TSXV: LEAF). The company is producing cutting edge counter culture games such as the new Cheech & Chong Bud Farm game.
Mobile gaming companies are turning crisis into opportunity
The gaming industry generally is forecasted to be worth about $159 billion by the end of 2020. The mobile gaming sector makes up around $77.2 billion, or 48%. Mobile gaming is rapidly becoming the dominant gaming market segment, far outstripping both console and PC gaming in size.
This is largely because of easy access to hardware and better monetization routes. Console & PC games are expensive to build and the necessary hardware represents a big barrier to entry. In comparison mobile games are easier to produce and in-app purchases provide a recurring revenue stream at reduced risk. This is likely why many console and PC focusing companies, such as rock-star, are experimenting with in-game purchases.
While mobile games are less risky to develop this means that there are a lot of them. The biggest challenge for mobile game developers is ensuring that their game gets the visibility it needs to thrive. Leaf Mobile, Inc. (TSXV: LEAF) have turned this process into an artform and that’s apparent with their new cannabis game: Cheech & Chong Bud Farm.
Defining a brand in a crowded marketplace
The mobile gaming market, particularly for free games, is highly competitive and it’s all about catching a user’s attention. The best way to do that? Build a unique brand. That’s exactly what Leaf Mobile Inc. has done with a heavy focus on counter culture games. The company has extensive experience in developing games in this style with titles such as Bud Farm Grass Roots and Pot Farm Legacy under its belt. The company has generated a lifetime revenue of $60.6 million and has acquired more than 30 million users.
During its operation Leaf Mobile has fine tuned the process of launching a new game and created a strategy that works. Cheech & Chong Bud Farm was launched on April 20th, or 4/20, and in its first month of operation has hit some impressive milestones. Specifically the company has successfully secured a position on multiple “Best New” mobile games lists in April. Include Toucharcade.com and game central. The game has also been featured in a number of news outlets. Cheech & Chong Bud Farm is also the only cannabis game in the top 500 free games list.
Both user acquisition and retention is key to a game’s success
So, how have they achieved this? Largely through clever branding and an aggressive marketing strategy. Mobile game marketing, to an extent, works on a snowball principle. The more downloads and positive ratings you gather the more visible you are. Currently Cheech & Chong Bud Farm is ranking 4.6/4.7 on Google Play and the iOS app store and is in the top ten trending downloads in the Google Play store. This means users are more likely to see the game and therefore more likely to download it.
The strategy works because it relies on a quick aggressive push that helps the game to achieve rapid growth and secure a lasting position on the front page of the app stores. Indeed the company’s CEO, Darcy Taylor, confirmed that the game’s “ key metrics from organic downloads, sessions, DAU to ARPDAU were incredibly strong” and that results compare favorably to the company’s existing assets.
The first 30 days are vital for any mobile game and are a strong indicator of its potential success. Now that Cheech & Chong Bud Farm has gained some visibility the company needs to continue to retain users. The apps high rating, and the Leaf Mobile team’s experience with creating engaging games, point in a positive direction.
Making the most of a watershed moment in gaming history
Cheech & Chong Bud Farm undoubtedly owes some of its success to the post-COVID environment. The gaming sector generally outperformed itself by 35% compared to Q1 2019. This rapid growth is in part down to social distancing and the COVID-19 lockdown and will likely remain a trend for the majority of 2020.
The strategy developed by Leaf Mobile, Inc. (TSXV: LEAF) was designed for much more difficult times. This is likely why it is performing so well in a market with a huge appetite for digital entertainment. The mobile gaming sector is set to grow rapidly over the course of this year and Cheech and Chong Bud Farm demonstrates that there are few companies as well positioned to take advantage of this trend as Leaf Mobile.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
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