In spite of parental worries about their children spending too much time in front of screens, the video game market for toddlers is ripe with opportunity. These days people are searching for The Cocomelon because it is the first Moonbug video game which is growing fast.
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— Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes (@CocomelonSongs) February 28, 2020
Moonbug Entertainment, a children’s media firm that has become a surprising force in toddler television, battling nimbly against incumbents like Disney and Nickelodeon, announced an expansion into video games on Thursday. CoComelon: Play With JJ, developed by Outright Games and geared at children aged two to four and their parents, will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 28 with a suggested retail price of $40.
The game is based on the popular Moonbug cartoon “CoComelon,” which blends brilliantly colorful animation, simple teachings (clean your teeth), and earworm melodies like “Baby Shark.” On Netflix, “CoComelon” concluded 2021 as the No. 2 most-watched program among licensed titles, collecting a remarkable 33.3 billion minutes of viewership, according to Nielsen. (“Criminal Minds” was No. 1, while “Grey’s Anatomy” was third.) “CoComelon” generates 4.3 billion monthly views on YouTube, where it ranks as the most-watched children’s brand.
Given the show’s widespread appeal, some guardians have taken to calling it “Cocainemelon.” On Monday, a new season of Netflix’s hit show arrived. Even if video game tie-ins are a standard tactic for cashing in on popular TV shows, their release nonetheless causes celebration. Moonbug’s rapid ascent is everything but normal; the company was only established in 2018, and its push into the gaming industry bodes well for its future.
The real money in kids’ media comes from selling merchandise, and Moonbug is only getting started in that arena. Video gaming for preschoolers also seems to be a rising global business if a challenging one, given parental concerns about screen usage.
The CEO of Moonbug, Rene Rechtman, recently stated in an email that the company is “engaging with our audiences in this new environment in a healthy way” and that the company “must follow their behavior to stay relevant.” (In the CoComelon video game, players collect virtual stickers, complete easy musical puzzles, and go on adventures with JJ, the show’s main character, a cartoon baby.) And what exactly does Mr. Rechtman hopes to accomplish in the field of video games for toddlers?
We’re willing to put a lot of money into it,” Mr. Rechtman added. He promised that Moonbug titles “would be on every relevant gaming platform” in the future. Moonbug owns several other successful franchises besides “CoComelon,” including “Blippi,” “Little Baby Bum,” “Playtime with Twinkle,” and “Gecko’s Garage.” Moonbug was purchased by Candle Media, an organization founded by two former Disney executives, for $3 billion in 2017.