New mobile gaming app Hemp Inc. is creating headlines for its innovation in creating a safe space for gamers, advertisers, and celebrities to engage and learn about legal marijuana. The video game encourages players to grow and sell weed, interact with celebrity marijuana advocates, and expand their marijuana empires.
The game allows players to establish their own virtual marijuana businesses, with more than 20 different cannabis strains to grow and sell to customers. Players are rewarded for their successes and encouraged to expand their operations. Celebrities, like Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Cheech Marin, and Tommy Chong, can be spotted throughout the game, and interact with players. High Times magazine, NORML, and other recognizable marijuana-related brands can be spotted in the game, as well.
Designed by Danny Hammett of HKA Digital Studios, Hemp Inc. is very similar to FarmVille, without the Facebook interactivity and ability to design your own avatar. Hammett, who has worked on Call of Duty and Tony Hawk, saw Hemp Inc. as an opportunity to both create a sophisticated new game and to convey positive messages about decriminalization and legalization of marijuana to people outside the existing advocacy audience.
After some research, Hammett found there are several “amateurish” games centered around marijuana available for play, but he wanted to dedicate the same time, skill, and capital to Hemp Inc. as he had his past projects.
“I said, ‘If you want to do it right, I’d be interested, but we need to raise a significant amount of capital to do it the correct way,’” he told HKA Digital Studios. “If I could make a game that was fun and be able to convert a gamer to my product, entertain them as a user, I may be able to send a message to them subliminally—and very clearly—about the archaic laws through gameplay.”
Hemp Inc., was launched as a free app on April 26, and already has more than a million downloads. Hammett, who was very concerned about the quality and reality of the game, was also concerned about the way the game was marketed. He encouraged HKA Digital Studios to coordinate a marketing plan with the celebrities involved in the game, plan an official launch, and create social media buzz about the game through celebrity channels.
The game wasn’t designed to glamorize marijuana consumption, though those who oppose legalization will likely see it that way. Rather, it was designed to draw attention to the work that goes into cultivating a safe, useful product, and the laws and regulations that prevent such work to happen on a broad scale in modern society.
Like all mobile games, Hemp Inc. runs the risk of getting lost in the over saturated gaming market. But, its prospect for success is higher than most due to its timeliness, celebrity involvement, and enthusiastic target audience. For more information regarding Hemp Inc., [Click Here].