Saturday, August 21, 2010

Games Industry Concept: Game Achievements Rewarded With Retailer Incentives

Hello All,

For years now we as gamers with electronic games have reached achievement after achievement within a game title. Where by these milestones only served us in gaining additional ranks, in-game equipment, and status. Now with this concept the model for game achievements will evolve for the better and have a greater meaning to us.

Picture it when you reach anything from a trivial to majestic in-game achievements you'll be rewarded in kind by a retailer. Anything from using your first weapon in a FPS game title that offers you a retailer discount or cash rebate on your purchases. Up to in finishing a single player RPG game title by being rewarded a retailer or VISA cash gift card.

That in a nutshell is this idea that steps us forward as gamers in positive experiences. With a dual meaning for our game play and shopping habits being rewarded with another layer of incentives.

What I'm about to explain below are the intricacies of how such a plan could be pulled off by a company, game league outfit, or game publisher. This is not however one of those gimmicky programs that a gamer deposits his or her own cash to compete to win.

First, I consider this concept an evolution from what game developers already do to a game title. In terms of achievements, be they in the form of: trophies, badges, pins, or insignias in regarding a players milestone in the game title itself. Next, this concept also builds on top of what game publisher Microsoft has done with "Xbox Live" and by offering Xbox point reward system. That can be used for various downloads of media purchases be it: indie game titles, Tv episodes ala iTunes, or other offerings.

My evolution of this concept builds on what game developers and what Microsoft utilizes with Xbox points in a point system. And takes it to the next level by tying gamer achievements in a game title(s) to retailer incentives under 4 Tiers of awards. Where each achievement that is recorded in a game triggers a point system not unlike XBox Live utilizes. But also via the tier system would unlock from least to greatest retailer incentives. Such as: discounts on selected retailers participating in this program, shopper cash rebates by % (low percents for lower achievements, higher for bigger milestones), merchandise coupons be they free items or discount, and Gift or Cash Cards of various denominations. To top it all off contests and sweepstakes that individual players or entire clans or guilds can participate in for a shared prize pool. Be it: a vacation trip to a gamer convention such as "Comic-Con or E3", electronics, computer hardware, cars, cash prizes up to the millions US dollars.

The 4 Tier system would go like this: Bronze Tier 1 offers retailer discounts, Silver Tier 2 offers cash rebates or merchandise coupons, Gold Tier 3 offers Cash or Gift cards, Platinum Tier 4 offers mid to high end prizes.

Participating Corporate Sponsors can be enrolled into this program and be charged a maintenance fee as one of the several revenue streams for this company. Besides any discounts, cash rebates, coupons, or prize items offered up to the program for participating retailers. That commissions can also be paid for member referrals for any of their bonafide tracked consumer purchases. Including advertising from the sponsors that display in this program. Or fee's collected from consumer survey panels for offering their surveys to a locked group of a demographic of gamer enthusiasts.

The reward point system that the users (gamers) accumulate can be redeemed for various prizes from a reward catalog. Similar as to how online consumer survey panels offer their members. There can also be an auction site to bid on prizes with their reward points that have been earned from in-game achievements. Free reward points promotions can be offered by retailers. Or additional points earned when a user redeems and uses their retailer discounts, cash rebates, merchandise coupons, etc...

Targeted corporate sponsors or retailers can be: Computer and software makers, beverage and snack makers, electronic stores, fast food restaurants, clothing stores, music & movie stores, or types of franchise locations, game outlet stores, Mass merchandisers like Walmart, or E-Commerce retailers like Amazon.

This is a concept waiting to be seized by a enterprising company that can see the potential to be had for gamers (consumers). Giving a whole new meaning to in-game achievements from the gamers and retailers perspective.

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