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Gamified Model Simulation and Metaverse: Should You Invest?

Anirban Roy

Playing games, having fun, and earning through your skills and experience are not new. But the blockchain-based contemporary games with the concept of play-to-earn take it to another level. While many potential projects on P2E models are still in their infancy, platforms such as Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Zed Run have multi-folded their gamer base to an astounding level. Moreover, many such economies based on P2E models also perform well in the cold bear market, indicating they are here to stay.

Is gamification just about the P2E model?

New projects are mushrooming in the P2E space every day, like the Defi space. Some develop their project with strategies and features which look competent and promising. However, gamification is far beyond the P2E model, spreading its wings to various corporate departments. The list includes the minuscule startups, mid-size, alongside the Fortune 500 companies. Marketing departments often see a suitable medium for involving and interacting with their customers to increase engagement.

Beyond the Loyalty Program Model

Loyalty programs in marketing program is indeed another significant milestone achieved by gamification. However, the potential of gamification is way beyond just loyalty programs. Corporate biggies such as Nike, Starbucks, Samsung, and Heineken are a few names who have applied gamification to several marketing projects and swelled their business and customer volume. To understand the implementation of advanced gamification, let's look around a few successful case studies of different corporates.

  • Valve's Steam Trading Cards to Google Pay

Steam is a popular name among the PC gaming community. Valve, the developer of Steam, had coined a promotional model to increase gamers' engagement and, in the process, boost its game sales. The idea was to introduce a card across selected games that the players would collect.
Besides offering cards through more engagement, the model also included a few other rules, such as exchanging cards with fellow gamers to complete the series of cards. In addition, once someone grabs a complete series of cards, Valve would offer trophies and merchandise alongside exclusive discounts on other games.

The model proved immensely beneficial for Valve by boosting its social influence and other related targets. Many other companies, such as Google, have implanted the Valve model in its virtual payment platform GPay by throwing challenges on collecting and exchanging cards through different activities. Zomato, among many other companies, has embraced the model in recent times to increase its marketing activity.

  • The CocaCola App and freebies

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola introduced an app in Hong Kong targeting teenagers across the state. The app would offer many prizes and discounts from many partners, including Mcdonald's. The rule was to open the app during a particular time slot on the television, answer a few questions, and shake the phone. The initiative proved a groundbreaking success for Coca-Cola and was soon adopted by many other consumer-centric enterprises worldwide.

  • Nike + Fuelband to Apple and Samsung

Nike, the famous shoemaker, launched a new fitness product called FuelBand in 2011 to track users' daily fitness activities. The company also launched an app to connect with the band, which would display an animated mascot that would appear on the screen once the user meets some targets.

The campaign also involved targets in meeting and throwing challenges to fellow users. For example, the app maintained a leaderboard comparing the user's traveled distance and training time. The idea brought a massive success for Nike with more user engagement with a surge of 6 million new users in just two years. In addition, many other smartphone and fitness band makers soon adopted the success story, including Apple and Samsung.

Metaverse: The New Age of Gamification

The recent success of metaverse-based blockchain projects also waves a green flag toward the immense possibilities of the gamification industry in the coming years. Metaverse has proved how challenging, aspiring, immersive, social, and interactive gaming experience can be and how it will shape the future of several industries such as shopping, live music, fitness, or education. It's more than just scoring brownie points and badges and moving up on the leaderboards.

The new age gamification projects have come up a long way. These visually-oriented projects, coupled with blockchain technologies such as smart contracts, decentralization, NFT, etc., are hand in glove to offer loyalty and trust in the gaming industry. The success of blockchain introduced a new era in gamification. Metaverse has encouraged the corporates to submit new revenue-making and social engagement models. The concept has ignited most cult consumer brands and many others to get a slice of it.

The New-Age Metaverse Models

  • Samsung has recently opened a virtual edition of its 837 New York flagship store on the metaverse. Available on Decentraland alias MANA, the virtual store 837X showcases a complete collection alongside a connectivity theatre, sustainability forest, and customization stage. The company has plans to unfold more such stores on other platforms.
  • In association with Decentraland, Coca-Cola launched its NFT collection last year alongside a virtual party and a virtual coke can building contest. In addition, the company offered visitors rare wearables and auctioned Coca Cola Friendship Box NFT package.
  • Sports and fitness brand Adidas bought virtual lands on The Sandbox platform and unveiled an NFT collection on the forum. The launch became a headliner, especially after announcing its engagement with The Bored Apes's sensational NFT platform.
  • Nike acquired a digital fashion brand RTFKT in 2021 and unrolled its virtual world on the Decentraland. Besides having the exclusive NFT collection of RTFKT, Nike also offers exclusive sneakers to specific communities via metaverse.
  • Fashion house Louis Vuitton has launched a puzzle adventure game on the metaverse to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The game offers NFTs, including a journey through six locations and 200 collectible candles.
  • Art auction house Sotheby's has brought NFT art into the mainstream. The house offers a virtual gallery inside Decentralalnd.

The Impact of blockchain

Blockchain technology can add many more factors to gamification, helping developers and investors equally. Here go the most prolific points among them:

  • Adopting the virtues of blockchain, such as NFT and DLT, would help retain the in-game objects (points, leaderboards, loyalty scores, etc.) to gamers and solve problems with stolen or fake assets with the help of technology.
  • The blockchain-powered economy creates a trust factor for the gamers and investors by leaving a significant decision-making part (voting) to the gamers and the investors.
  • The trust factor between the investors, developers, and distributors remain transparent with each incoming and outgoing transaction.
  • The revenue success of the game is measured by the rise and fall of the in-game currency and thus inspiring the developers to improvise the game to hit the target.
  • Unlike offline gaming, blockchain-based games motivate gamers by offering dividends and voting rights during the development process. As a result, it creates more trust and involvement of gamers on the platform.

What about investing?

The Axie Infinity projects portray how gamification has helped investors and gamers grow and make hundreds and thousands of dollars. And it certainly encourages the old-school gamers to try this new model of revenue earning. In recent years, the grand success of Axie Infinity and other play-to-earn projects also tipped the massive potential of crypto-backed gaming initiatives.

The other successful projects such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, Zed Run, Blankos Block Party, Gods Unchained, Star Atlas, and My Defy Pet are other names whose impact goes beyond their words and actions as flagbearers of the thought of how gamification would lead the business and opportunities where the sky is the limit.

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