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“游戏化”淘金热内幕:玩着就把钱挣了

Alex Konrad 2011年10月19日

“游戏化”的商业理念借鉴了流行视频游戏的元素,现在各大公司正在争相引进这一新的商业理念,开拓新的商业模式。专业的游戏化服务公司也应运而生,其职能就是教会从高端时尚到个人理财等各行各业的企业如何利用游戏化机制开辟财源。

    现在许多公司已经开始践行游戏化的理念。例如皮尔森公司(Pearson)正在打造一个互动式网络,它具有分级别并提供目标等激励因素。皮尔森公司的项目负责人兼市场副总裁杰拉德•拉丰德称,它所涉及的技能和障碍与传统的角色扮演类游戏很相似,只是它所涉及的技能不再是打怪升级,而是数学运算。与此同时,孩之宝(Hasbro)和三星(Samsung)等大公司也与专业提供游戏化工具的BunchBall和Badgeville进行了合作,尝试游戏化道路。这两家游戏化公司的客户还包括美国电视网(USA Network)、SAP和探索频道(Discovery Channel)等。上周,贝宝(Paypal)和eBay也加入了这个阵营,他们利用从新合作伙伴Badgeville那里获得的游戏机制工具,在X.commerce平台上为开发者们建立了一个程序。

    尽管如此,游戏化产业仍然处于发展的早期阶段。有些公司(如Badgeville)面临着一个认知的问题,因为他们太依赖于消费者的浅层互动了,游戏机制里的“级别”和“徽章”很快失去了它们的意义。还有些公司则难逃“伤仲永”的命运。例如地理位置服务Gowalla一度曾被人热炒,这项服务里包含了很浓厚的游戏化元素,但它最终没有取得成功,不得不重新调整自己的工具,现在Gowalla主要从事的是旅行指南服务。(要想了解更多采用游戏化元素的地理位置服务平台,请点击此处查看。)尽管已经有成百上千万美元的资金流向游戏化这个概念,但有些公司最终还是销声匿迹。

    虽然如此, 奥尔森的Novel这类公司还是可以淘到真金,至少对于提供游戏化技术专业服务的公司来说是如此。据M2 Research调查公司2011年秋天进行的一项行业调查显示,游戏化机制专业服务公司2012年的平均增长率预计能达到197%,高于2011的155%的预计增长率。调查结果还显示,在未来几年内,这个行业的整体营收增长将进一步加速,从今年的9,700万美元增长至2012年的2.47亿美元,2013年的4.94亿美元,2014年的9.38亿美元,2015年的15亿美元——也就是说在5年时间里增长1546%。这要归结于战略选择。Badgeville公司的杜根称:“毕竟淘金的人和为淘金者提供掘金工具的人是不同的。”

    译者:朴成奎

    A wide variety of companies are testing out the concepts. Pearson (PSO), for example, is building an interactive network that add incentives such as progress and long-term goals. These skills and obstacles are similar to the fundamentals of traditional role-playing games -- only now with skills such as algebra instead of sword-wielding -- according to project head and marketing vice president Gerard LaFond. Companies like Hasbro (HAS) and Samsung, meanwhile, have contracted with specialized firms BunchBall and Badgeville that offer tools to help test out the concepts. The two leading firms count USA Network, SAP (SAP) and the Discovery Channel (DISCA) among their clients. Last week, PayPal and eBay (EBAY) jumped into the fray, creating a program for developers on its X.commerce site using game mechanics tools from its new partner, Badgeville.

    The industry is still very much in its early stages, though. Some, like Badgeville, face a perception problem of being too reliant on superficial interaction with consumers -- some digital levels and badges lose their meaning quickly. Others failed to deliver on their promises. Gowalla, a once much-hyped, location-based service with a heavy dose of gamification was ultimately forced to retool itself and now focuses on travel guides. (For more on location-based platforms tapping into gamification, click here.) Despite the millions in venture capital flowing into the concept, some firms have simply disappeared.

    Still, Olson's gold appears to be out there. At least for companies providing gamification expertise for sale. According to a fall 2011 industry survey by M2 Research, game mechanics vendors project average growth of 197% for 2012, up from 155% expected this year. The survey results also project industry-wide revenue growth to accelerate over the next several years, from a projected $97 million this year to $247 million in 2012, $494 million in 2013, $938 million in 2014, and $1.5 billion in 2015 -- a 1,546% increase over the five years. Getting at it may boil down to strategy. Says Badgeville's Duggan, "There's a difference between the people going after the gold and the people who provide the picks and the shovels."

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