SellerForce presents an eCommerce business in the niche Virtual Game Trading Vertical that grew rapidly following the launch of their hit eBook. This offering is a hub for fans of the FIFA (soccer) Video Game, garnering wide name recognition for offering some of the best game-improvement experiences to the FIFA community, now 15 million strong.
That’s a phenomenally large global market to be targeting, and this brand has scored big by offering software that allows users to automate their trading activities on the video games. A lot of players eagerly try to increase their in-game currency, or coins, in order to gain a competitive edge, and of them now rely on this brand’s software to boost their odds of winning.
The company has increased its profitability significantly in recent years by introducing AI Trading Robots that can be added onto their main module. The concept introduced fully automated trading to their system, since those robots can search, buy, and sell players for the users, based on set parameters. It’s a high-tech way of gaining an upper hand in this competitive video game, which is exactly what their subscribers want.
Now, after nearly a decade in operations, this brand has a business that is fully automated, requiring no more than 2-3 hours a week during the peak season. For a buyer, this represents a terrific opportunity because of the massive social media presence that FIFA Ultimate Team has, and the plentiful ways to tap into the millions of players who love this game. But first, let’s explore how this company developed both its products and its loyal customer base, and why they’re uniquely well positioned to grow.
First, it’s important to understand just how popular FIFA is. This series of association football video games were developed and are released every year by Electronic Arts (EA). Available in 18 languages and sold in 51 countries, it’s become the best-selling sports video game franchise worldwide. Their legion of fans, who number in the millions, eagerly look forward to the release of the new edition every October. FIFA 22, released on Oct. 1, 2021, was highly anticipated because it included many new features. While the game has its devoted fans, there’s also a growing network of professional FIFA traders who help guide average FIFA gamers on how to assemble the best teams and select the top players. This brand has done exceptionally well targeting those average players.
The business started in 2012 as an eBook about the best practices for trading in this game. The book turned out to be enormously successful among 18-to-35-year-old-men who are gamers, love football and soccer, and have a passion for FIFA. Recognizing they had a solid audience for that eBook, the company developed the software in 2013 that helps these gamers purchase the best players in the game and improve their teams. That helps them improve their win ratio as well. The software works on both PCs and Macs, and quickly became a hit as well.
The launch of the AI Trading Robot was a solid success for the company, which is now exploring other unlockable modules that could improve the software.
The company’s basic subscription plan now accounts for 68% of the brand’s revenue, with the AI Robots making up the remaining 32%. The users get access to a membership site where they can find instructions on how to run the program along with trading strategies and tips.
The brand has two upsells: a $39 yearly subscription of additional licenses that enables them to run multiple instances of the software from the same computer, and a $249 lifetime subscription for their software. These upsells represent a small but rising percentage of overall sales.
A very popular option has been to subscribe to both the main subscription and the AI Robot option, which is now 61% of all sales, meaning the average customer is paying $30 per month.
Not surprisingly, there is some seasonality to this business and its revenue model. About 60% of users cancel the service during the year after making enough coins in the most recent FIFA game. However, due to the yearly cycle of the FIFA game and the fact that a new one gets released every October, the vast majority of those who had cancelled come back the following October once the new FIFA comes out. Gross revenues strengthen considerably from October to December after the yearly launch.
Their marketing plan has worked exceptionally well, tapping into a vast email database with nearly 20,000 subscribers as well as an affiliate email list with 3,300 emails on it. These customer and affiliate lists are effectively used to promote the brand’s subscriptions in the months leading up to the launch of the new game. A phenomenally popular blog on its website also helps to boost organic traffic, and their website averaged 36,000 monthly visitors in 2020.
This highly successful brand has been able to automate virtually all aspects of the business, to the point where the owner only needs to check daily to see if there are messages from the Support Agent or questions sent in by customers. The customer support agent is now their only employee, and the company tends to average around 5 customer service inquiries each day.
As simple and effective as the process is, there are plenty of ways to scale this operation and increase profits significantly. One would be to take full advantage of FIFA’s presence on social media, including the many YouTube Channels devoted to the game that have millions of subscribers. Most of these YouTubers are open to partnerships or sponsorship opportunities such as sponsored videos. This brand can engage in video marketing that creates partnerships with these top YouTube influencers. Because this brand has a high lifetime value within this industry, they could run Google ads on sites dedicated to FIFA, which have millions of viewers. There are other digital marketing opportunities for quickly scaling, including starting an SEO program that optimizes the website for top ranking keywords, and expanding their email marketing campaign. The company could also do social media marketing on popular sites such as Instagram and Facebook, or even consider sponsoring streamers on the popular Video Game Live Website, Twitch.
There’s no question that FIFA Ultimate Team will remain a phenomenally popular video game, and if anything, will likely increase its profitability as younger football and soccer fans discover it. That gives this brand the opportunity to increase its own profits as they use improved marketing tactics to become better known among those legions of fans.
For the buyer of this business, this is an opportunity to enjoy those increased profits on a game that has clear durability for decades to come.
Listing Number: SF32