Korean game maker YD Online just launched a mobile game that has the potential to evolve into a tool for identifying up-and-coming investments in the smart phone application sector.
As make-believe investor interest in a particular app grows, so does its value, so Angel’s Choice could be used as a tool to find new applications and then isolate those that have the most upside growth potential and overall industry buzz.
The reason that a toy might be taken seriously by an investor is that the volume of interesting apps making their debut each day is staggering, but nobody has time to analyze the market appeal of all of them.
The App Store carries more than a quarter of a million apps, for example, a number that is prohibitively large. But in the hands of a discriminating gamer, some people believe that Angel’s Choice can quickly delve into that Pandora’s Box and use realistic market forces to dynamically transform it into a treasure chest of pre-screened investment candidates.
Whether or not Angel’s Choice succeeds beyond its premise as a pastime and rises to the level of a clever investment tool will depend on how well it can do a great job of recreating the marketplace (ostensibly for the purpose of recreation).
If it does offer users a reasonably accurate facsimile or shadow of the actual market for apps, then that could make it one of the most efficient resources for testing app popularity across a broad demographic of both consumers and would-be investors.
Of course there are problems with trying to use a game that is available as a free download to draw conclusions that can be transferred to the high-stakes arena of angel investment.
Players have nothing invested in the game or its outcome except some Monopoly money in the form of “Angel Dollars.” If they decide to artificially promote one app they can easily do so by enlisting friends to vote for the app and fuel its rise up the ladder of popularity and valuation.
In the real world that requires first stage investment. So unless Angel’s Choice players can figure out a way to discount that kind of misleading activity they might wind up buying a pig in a poke.
But there are some built-in protections. A user’s reputation is at stake each time they recommend an app, and the more successful a player is the more influence they gain. The Angel’s Choice system also holds app reviewers accountable.
If nothing else the game definitely promises to make it easier to filter through hundreds of thousands of apps – and that alone could make it valuable enough for investors to sign up and play along while they enjoy the fringe benefits.
* For series, references are published in the last installment of the series.