Finding the right model to sell your game is a huge problem for video game retailers. Retail models still make sense for console games, because they can draw in eyeballs wandering through the mall and hit them with that sweet impulse buy. But subscription models are picking up here as well, as my credit card can attest. There’s always the ubiquitous advertising mode, which we’ll get into later. Most games, though, include a mix of revenue models. For example, in Elder Scrolls Online MMO you pay for a monthly subscription, but if you want the baddest mounts, weapons and whatnot, you whip out your credit card.
For downloadable games, or smaller games meant to pass the time, the retail and subscription models don’t really work. Nobody wants to shell out for Angry Birds or Farmville when there are plenty of other games on the market offering to help you kill your free time spent waiting for the bus in the morning for free. So for games like ePlay Digital’s (EPY.C) new Big Shot Basketball mobile game, the advertising revenue model is probably best. It’s not their only revenue stream, as they also use in-app purchases and eSports prizing.
The advertising model, of course, is what you get from most adware. Your time and attention is monetized and sold to advertisers, which push ads in front of your face for you to either skip or watch. They’re YouTube’s revenue primarily revenue model, and now they’re ePlay Digital’s as well, as the game has been enabled for advertising revenue to keep pace with the amount of downloads during the opening week of the 2019/2020 NBA season.
“ePlay is thrilled that the NBA season has started off so well allowing the Company to focus on increasing downloads, user engagement and revenue. The Company will be adding content payloads to Big Shot to fully enable monetization for ads, esports, and in-app purchases,” said Trevor Doerksen, CEO of ePlay.
What is ePlay?
Eplay is a mobile game creator and publisher with an eye towards sports, esports and augmented reality titles, including Big Shot. Eplay’s people are a mix of leaders in the worlds of sports, esports as well as broadcast and digital technology industry experts, software engineers and athletes.
Revenue sources tied to esports, including Big Shot user avatars, are the final stage of beta testing, and should be released in time for the holidays. The company estimates that adding more skins and esports functionality will be big earners in the USD$61.3 billion mobile gaming industry. Engagement with the Big Shot esport competition grew 26% in October 2019.
Understanding monetization in mobile gaming and esports is a function of downloads, engagement, and Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). The game has been downloaded over 20,000 times since the company launched their augmented realty fantasy sports game in Toronto and Los Angeles in October to coincide with the opening of the NBA season. When compared to say, Clash of Clans, which sports a whopping 500 million downloads, that isn’t much. It may be a promising start, but the game has a long way to go.
Right now, this company is trading flat at $0.05 with a 352K market cap on 6.3 million shares, and that’s basically what we can expect from a small-time esports play at this stage of development. But if you’ve got some cash lying around and don’t mind a long-bet in an industry that may or may take off, this one could be for you.