Games Startups

Game Over? If it’s Freemium, never.

Jorge Morales, CEO of Larva Game Studios, competes hard in the development of video games. Now try a new business model in apps.

Night Vigilant

Jorge Morales took control of his life early. He studied Computer Systems Engineering to develop video games.

But the industry in Mexico was in diapers, and none of its teachers knew the subject. This issue did not discourage Jorge. He began his adventure with a Web development company without losing sight of his mission. There he tried to create video games without success. He understood that to move to the next level, and he had to drop the Yoshi: he sold the company, and with the money, he created Larva Game Studios (LGS). 

In its incubation stage, Larva Game Studios accumulated experience points by allying with Immersion Games. Together they created Lucha Libre: Heroes of the Ring (2010). Since then, LGS has completed 22 different projects. Night Vigilante (2015) is his first intellectual property development and in the freemium model. 

From premium to freemium 

LGS develops games or parts of games for clients in Mexico and abroad. 

They have already tried the commercialization of premium games on the App Store with Spirit of springs (2014), created in partnership with Minority Media Inc. They participated in 35% of the development and investment. 

Kedoo advised them on marketing and sales strategies to develop Night Vigilante, a videogame with a freemium business model. You get it for free, you get addicted, and it sells you something as soon as you love it. 

In Night Vigilante, the user can customize the game and buy supplies to improve their performance. 

Goal in freemium 

Larva Game Studios’ new projects are aimed at the development of educational applications and more freemium games. 

The alliance with the marketing company of Giovani Dos Santos produced Street Gol Gold Edition (2015) with a development cost less than Night Watchman. Quality and short freemium games are now the goals of Jorge Morales. 

The freemium era 

Freemium games dominate the app market today. Both the PlayStore and the App Store remain in the top revenue. 

App Annie observed a market less and less focused on mobile games. These changes can mean a business opportunity for independent developers such as Larva Game Studios. 

But returning a profitable game is not easy. Obtaining a large number of downloads, offering a value proposition to have a high conversion rate (percentages of users who buy premium) and returning to the apostle users of the app are some of the pending tasks, noted Vineet Kumar of Harvard Business School 

Returning a profitable game is not easy. 

LGS continues in the game 

The LGS experience allows them to know some effective combos. Now they will seek to make the company more profitable with low-risk developments. 

They must deal with a competitive but growing market. Observing quality is essential in an area where competition offers its product for free. 

Retaining talent is another challenge, considers Jorge Morales. The industry in Mexico requires maturing to offer more competitive salaries, improve working conditions, and initiate attractive projects. 

Making video games is not the same as playing them. Jorge Morales knows it and prepares for the next level.

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