Grow your own weed, leverage your resources, and get inspired by good old Farmville along the way. Do you remember the game? Well, there is something of all that in Hempire. However, instead of farms, the cannabis video game of the moment has flowerpots in the suburbs. And, at the center of everything, marijuana.
“We wanted to build the best cannabis game in the world,” says Canadian Solon Bucholtz about Hempire, the pot video game that he developed with his company LBC Studios.
“Hempire is a passionate project that seeks to de-stigmatize cannabis and present it in an authentic setting rather than typical pot culture,” he continues.
Hempire is a game -half botanical, half strategic simulation- that supports the development of legal cannabis and the benefits it can have on the economy and social relationships.
And Its objective is? Let’s say it’s simple, diverse, and real: enjoying building a cannabis empire, growing your own strains, communicating, and competing with other growers.
One of the most valued games on the market
With over 22 million players around the world, Hempire has become one of the highest-rated mobile cannabis games on the market.
“We are grateful that both the gaming and cannabis communities have embraced and supported our vision for Hempire. We’ve had a really positive experience and it’s always inspiring to hear little and big stories about how it’s impacted people in a positive way,” Bucholtz told El Planteo in an exclusive interview.
The team behind Hempire wanted to develop a complex experience and expand the horizon of stoner culture and games. “Coming from British Columbia we have a rich history of cannabis cultivation and industry,” Bucholtz added.
Bucholtz and part of the LBC Studios team come from BC where cultivation licenses have been granted, dispensaries have been opened, and regulations that contemplate recreational use have been promoted making it, strictly speaking, the most liberal and stoner province in Canada.
Hempire: Become an Emperor of Cannabis
The developers of LBC Studios spent a good time with growers and various industry players to get advice on issues related to the uses of the land, crop timing, and cannabis strains. “We seek to provide the best gaming experience and make it as fun and real as possible,” Bucholtz noted.
In addition, Hempire supports both casual and competitive gamers. The game’s public ranges from 18 to 65 years.
“Everyone has a reason to play it, whether it’s competing to grow the best strain in the hemp cup or achieving the highest net worth and being crowned the ‘hemperor’ by building your city and navigating all the deal lines and stories. There is everything in between, but with a majority of players between 18 and 35”, Bucholtz clarifies.
EP: Why did you decide to develop a cannabis video game?
Bucholtz: Cannabis had a positive impact on my life and as the industry and normalization of cannabis started to happen, we felt the time was right to do something authentic, something we could look back on and be proud of.
EP: Why do you say that cannabis had a positive impact on your life?
Bucholtz: Cannabis has helped me in my life to manage addiction and stress. I think it has many positive benefits both medically and recreationally and I prefer it over alcohol.
Experts in smoking games
LBC Studios had already entered the world of cannabis arcades with Tasty Buds and, in a few months, they will present Hempire Tycoon, another game with a green theme.
Beyond the stoner games, the firm is developing a musical role-playing game around a well-known saga (“We can’t reveal which one yet”), which will be released before the end of the year (“We are very excited about it”).
EP: What would you say to someone who hasn’t played Hempire yet?
Bucholtz: Whether it’s for the curious or for regular gamers, I’d tell them to download it now, it’s free and we trust you’ll love it.
EP: Do you suggest playing Hempire while being high?
Bucholtz: There is no bad way to play Hempire and being high is definitely an option.