Bloomin photo gaming.jpg

Weedcraft Inc. Could Be The Game The Cannabis Community Has Been Waiting For

 By Roger Moleskin November 1st, 2018 photo/istock/dstaerk

There’s a lot of overlap between the cannabis community and the gaming community. Chances are that cannabis enthusiasts you know play video games at least casually. Now, game developer Devolver Digital has released a trailer for their upcoming tycoon-sim offshoot about starting and growing your own cannabis business appropriately titled Weedcraft Inc.

 “Weedcraft Inc explores the business of producing, breeding and selling weed in America, delving deep into the financial, political and cultural aspects of the country's complex relationship with this troublesome and promising plant,” Devolver states.

Weedcraft Inc. will seemingly follow the template of other games in the genre of ‘business simulation’, such as Business Tycoon, Railroad Tycoon, and Capitalism, where the player starts off with a meager startup business and, through business deals and investments, grows it to a monopoly. These games are quite accurate in their simulation of running a business, so much so that they are sometimes used in marketing and business schools as teaching tools.

In the demo given to developers, the story starts off with two brothers in Detroit who are desperate for help when their father needs medical marijuana for cancer treatment. At first, you’ll start with only three pots in a dimly lit basement, a few packs of seeds, and some soil. Players will need to properly hydrate, trim, and then harvest the plants which will eventually grow into your product. The beginning is very basic and will prepare the player for the advance gameplay, which involves competition from other businesses, as well as meticulous details in how to optimally grow and improve your plants. 

Perhaps the most interesting part of the game is that players will be active in the socio-political aspects of marijuana today. Players decide if they want to lobby politicians to legalize medical, recreational, or both. Additionally, they can play it as a grey market, where they have a legal medical cannabis business but also sell illegally on the side, which brings its own set of challenges, including having to deal with police and the effects those choices have on your neighborhoods.

Players will also have to deal with the complicated state of marijuana laws across the country. If you want to make more money in a medical marijuana only state, you can consider risking an illegal side business, or perhaps lobby a sympathetic politician to push for full legalization. Want to transport your product across state lines? Then you’d better be aware if the state border patrol can seize cannabis shipments there. The details seem limitless and can serve as a solid educational tool on the current state of cannabis laws.

 “Employees, cops, and competition are all people you can research into, have relationships with, and have financial arrangements,” said  lead writer Scott Alexander. “You can bribe. You can blackmail. You can force competition out of business. You can fire your employees or refuse to pay them [fair] wages and they can quit on you.”

All things considered, Weedcraft Inc. is looking to be one of the most interesting games to come out in recent years. Tycoon games are plentiful, but rarely does any game delve into the social and political problems that becoming affluent can affect. The theme of running a cannabis business will certainly appeal to people in the community, but it looks like Weedcraft Inc. is aiming to be much more than a standard business sim.

Exact release date is yet to be determined, but Devolver Digital says the game will release on PC sometime in 2019.