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Gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts in order to engage users and solve problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, ROI, data quality, timeliness, and learning.
If you were to track down the history of gamification, you may get the initial impression that this industry is just a few years old, and has really just begun unfolding in 2010. Look closer and it is obvious that the idea of using game mechanics and design is not new and has, in fact, always been with us. However, the enabling tools are changing and they create new opportunities, even if the founding idea and the basic concept has remained the same.
The goal of gamification is to maximum user brand/product engagement through facilitation of entertainment in which the user interacts with the brand in a fun/pleasurable manner. Serious gaming simulations and game mechanics such as leaderboards, achievements, and skill-based learning are becoming embedded in day-to-day business processes, driving adoption, performance, and engagement.
One of the keys to success is to assess user behavioural patterns as a precursor to deploying optimal game mechanics that that align user likes, dislikes, expectations and behaviours.
The gamification market has been forecast a monumental growth over the next four years, with the industry set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 99% through to 2016, with the industry projected to reach a value of $2.8 billion by 2017.
The market spend on gamification solutions, applying game mechanics and behavioural analytics in
non traditional applications will reach $242 million by the end of 2012, which is more than double from 2011. Revenue estimates are comprised of a number of components that includes: 1) platform vendor revenue, 2) agency and production revenue and 3) internal development.
The global gamification market has broadened rapidly, as the process has spread from consumer and media brands to the enterprise, healthcare and educational markets. The adoption of applying game mechanics in more non-traditional industries has grown exponentially in the past 18 months.
Social media and networking sites are expected to maintain their significance in the near future. Recently, the trend of socialisation, including personalisation, collaboration, and content sharing has been gaining traction in throughout the global gamification market.
This explosion of games appeals to a wider mass market audience and has greatly expanded the notion of who and how people play games. Social games today heavily rely on the large social networks of Facebook in the US, as well as GREE and DeNA in Japan. These social networks provide the perfect environment for social collaboration and user delivery.
There is now a solid core of platform vendors and service providers servicing this market, that includes Badgeville,Bunchball, BigDoor, and Gigya, to name a few. In addition to these vendors, there are a number of agencies developing their own expertise in the space.
Badgeville offers a suite of products that help businesses measure and influence user behaviour across customer and employee facing user experiences. Badgeville now has more than 150 customers from a wide range of industries and user experiences.
Founded in February 2006, Bunchball is considered one of the first gamification platform vendors. Bunchball's customisable Nitro platform comes with APIs to track user behaviour, components such as avatar and room builders as well as an administration interface and gamification analytics. The core engine enables its clients to quickly create rules, rewards, virtual items, levels, and notifications and publish them instantly on a digital property.
Big Door Media:
The Bigdoor platform provides small websites code that is embedded in websites to achieve gamification/reward features and offers more sophisticated solutions for medium sized websites that extend to rewarded actions and delivers customised gamified loyalty programs to large websites that are tailored to meet specific engagement goals.
Heavily focused on consumer gamification, Gigya deploys gamification functionality via a collection of plug ins that are interoperable with the company's product suite that includes identity management and analytics services. The company has a suite of products that encompass social interactions, game mechanics and analytics.
For more information on the gamification market, see the latest research: Gamification Market
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