Written by Ι Stock Market Media — May 26, 2016
When SPYR, Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR) moved into the mobile game & app development and publishing industry, a decision was made early on to surround the company with successful industry names, and to partner with reputable third-party developers to publish quality mobile games. Well, the company has done both, and its recent agreement to publish the free-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online Game or MMO, Pocket Starships, may just lead to the game becoming SPYR’s “diamond in the rough.”
Industry sources report that digital gaming generated $80 billion in revenues last year, and the industry isn’t stopping there with a projected $104 billion in revenues by 2018. With these numbers, companies like Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard have thrived in the market; however, with the digital games market booming, there is certainly room for more players who come to the table with a game that has mass appeal.
By making a deal to publish Pocket Starships, SPYR has invested in the expertise of Lars Koschin, who is the architect behind the development of Pocket Starships and is regarded as one of the industry’s most prolific individuals and technical minds. Koschin is a successful MMO management specialist and entrepreneur. He also sits on SPYR’s advisory board, which is the same position he enjoyed at Wargaming, the producer of the award-winning “World of Tanks” – one of the most successful MMO games ever.
The good news for SPYR’s investors is that Lars Koschin is bringing to Pocket Starships the same model that was used to make World of Tanks successful. In the last three years alone, World of Tanks generated more than $1.3 billion, and with Koschin, SPYR gets the know-how and the formula for success, while reducing the risk to its own shareholders.
Since Paul Thind took the helm of SPYR’s games business as its Managing Director of Games and Applications, SPYR has been using a publishing model that greatly reduces the company’s risk, and it has done so again with Pocket Starships. Because the MMO game has already been developed, SPYR avoids the expense of funding an idea through the long development process and the risk of not knowing what the final product will look like, or how it will perform. Additionally, Pocket Starships is already generating revenue in the market after a soft launch. With the game already in the hands of gamers, Koschin and his team have had time to “test drive” it, work out the bugs, and identify what gamers like and don’t like about the game. Now that SPYR has teamed with Koschin, the first update or “patch” has already hit the market.
In 2016, mobile games with a high level of interactivity and constant updates are the games that keep gamers hooked. Since the update earlier this month, the company reported that it has seen a 23% increase in the average revenue from each paying user, and a 7.8% increase in the average spend on each in-app purchase.
As the publisher of Pocket Starships, SPYR will release a major content update for the game later this year, at which point a strong worldwide marketing effort can begin. Pocket Starships is a unique game in the digital games industry, in that it is played in real-time and is a true cross-platform game. Other games claiming to be cross-platform, are really multi-platform, meaning it is playable on multiple platforms, but the users on the different platforms are only playing with and against users on that particular platform. Pocket Starships, however, can be downloaded as an app on most mobile devices, and it can also be played online at http://www.pocketstarships.com in any web browser, with all of the players on all platforms playing together in real-time. This, of course, greatly expands the audience that can play the game and the ability for social interaction among the players.
Koschin and his team have used their many years of expertise to develop Pocket Starships as an MMO game that appeals to both casual and more hard-core gamers, and with SPYR’s involvement in marketing, they can keep gamers coming back for more. While Pocket Starships obviously has a competition angle to keep those competitive gamers playing, it also has a social angle. The two layers combine to offer a great retention strategy and offer many opportunities to create more and more updates that include even more items to purchase within the game. With so many platforms available to play the game, and a strong player retention strategy, the number of players that stick with Pocket Starships combined with the new players who will join the game, and the increase in in-app purchases should continue to grow revenue exponentially.
SPYR may have found its diamond in the rough at just the right time because according to a recent article by TheStreet, detailed analysis indicates that mobile gaming is the fastest growing segment in the gaming industry and is only set to grow larger. With today’s competititve mobile games industry, timing is everything, and it seems SPYR is doing exactly the right thing with Pocket Starships.