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Yoga Retreat launches later today on iOS devices worldwide, hoping to get mobile gamers up off of their couches and busting poses instead of candy.
Billed as the “the world’s first yoga-themed mobile-simulation game,” Yoga Retreat, from Finnish developer Gajatri Studios, fuses animated instructional yoga videos with a management simulator set on a tropical island. Players run their own yoga resort, teach and help customers, and expand and upgrade their virtual real estate.
While sedentary gamers are welcome to grab a slice of Yoga Retreat’s paradise, the game’s soft release in three territories saw over 20 percent of players engaging daily with at least five instructional yoga videos.
“Our goal is to be the healthy choice for mobile gamers worldwide,” said Tiina Zilliacus, the founder and chief executive officer of Gajatri Studios, in a press release. “This product will evolve both as a fun simulation game and as a casual health experience.”
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Zilliacus, a certified yoga teacher, is targeting Yoga Retreat firmly at what she feels is an underserved demographic: casual female gamers aged 18-55. The recent success of celebrity simulator Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, which is generating an estimated $234,000 daily through in-app purchases, demonstrates the sales potential for female-focused titles in a mobile market worth an estimated $20 billion in 2014.
“Once I started to look around [at] what mobile apps and games are available, I found the female games audience to be poorly understood and under catered with topics women are really interested in,” said Zilliacus.
Yoga Retreat is free to download but offers a range of in-app purchases, and Zilliacus expects success with this free-to-play model. “Women account for [the] majority of consumer purchase decisions and total online spending,” she said. “Based on our soft launch player data in Canada, Netherlands, and Finland, I expect Yoga Retreat to be highly profitable after its worldwide launch.”
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