271Million-Slide

What happens when players get bored of F2P?

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One game developer claims to have the answer to the inevitable challenge facing the gaming industry

Human evolution continues apace, sometimes in ways that are actually traceable in the course of a few years. We are not talking about the development of the opposable thumb or the advancement to the standing position from a crawl. It is something far more noticeable in the short term.

Social scientists – and pretty much everyone else – acknowledge that our attention spans are shrinking rapidly. A phenomenon that began with the advent of radio, then TV, accelerated with the invention of remote control. High-speed internet sent attention spans into a tailspin. Now we chase stimulation with hysterical urgency.

We demand incessant changes that engage us. We go through gadgets and toys faster than any generation before us – and the younger we are, it’s safe to say, the faster we plow through stuff.

Today – every day, in fact – Americans spend 271 million hours playing online and mobile games. Now extrapolate that across parts of the world where gaming is growing exponentially. The free-to-play (F2P) and freemium (play-for-free or pay for some in-game power-ups) industry is huge and growing. Yet it faces some serious challenges. Because of our natural inclination to get bored and move on to the Next Big Thing, game developers are forced to either constantly produce new and different games or, less onerously, invest in significant makeovers of their existing products.

Players will become bored of F2P and freemium games for a range of reasons. In F2P, players will eventually become frustrated when they reach a level beyond which they seem unable to proceed without spending money. That’s OK for some who are willing to spend. For those determined to enjoy a genuinely F2P experience, it’s time to move along.

Even those who are willing to spend might eventually find themselves in a cycle of repetitive levels that causes them to lose interest.

Eyal Lichtmann, CEO of BidOkee, believes he has the answer with his gamified online retail app, which is now in development.

BidOkee is an auction-themed three-tile match game, like Candy Crush, that gamifies online retail by rewarding players with valuable, tangible consumer goods in exchange for in-game achievement and actions.

“After we launch, in the coming months, we will continue to enrich and constantly modify the games,” Lichtmann says. “That’s a given. But there are other factors inherent to BidOkee that will overcome the natural human instinct to look for the next thing down the road.”

First of all, he says, BidOkee offers loyalty reward points unlike anything in the industry – the gaming industry or elsewhere.

“This is mutual loyalty,” Lichtmann says. “BidOkee invests in players with extraordinary loyalty rewards and players are invested in BidOkee because they earn such generous rewards.”

The game itself will be among the richest, most varied gaming experiences, he says, involving both the three-tile match component, complemented by random chances to win prizes, as well as a progressive virtual travel component in which players traverse the globe gathering valuable “Collectibles.”

“It is similar to the most popular games in the world today with a few revolutionary twists,” Lichtmann says. The game itself presents an ever-changing player experience.

Beyond this, and key to the revolutionary nature of the game, the rewards earned in the BidOkee AuctionGame are used in the integrated BidOkee MarketPlace to purchase or bid on a huge range of top-brand consumer goods.

“Most of all,” Lichtmann says. “BidOkee is a gamified online shopping experience. The BidOkee AuctionGame has a ton of in-game components to keep players engaged. But the integrated BidOkee MarketPlace opens a whole new realm of potential.”

“Games get tired, but you’re always going to need new stuff,” Lichtmann says. “New clothes, new laptop, new housewares, whatever. The BidOkee AuctionGame is going to be one of the most richly designed and fun games on the market. And the BidOkee MarketPlace is where players get stuff they need for free. We’re pretty sure we’ve resolved the problem of F2P players getting bored – and in the process, we’re revolutionizing both online retail and casual gaming.”

The MarketPlace is already created, built, tested and proven. BidOkee is now developing the three-tile, auction-themed virtual travel game. This final step is to be realized through a $3.35 million crowdfunding campaign.

In keeping with BidOkee’s revolutionizing theme, the company has developed the first gamified crowdfunding campaign that rewards backers with tangible things … and like the app it’s funding, the gamified crowdfunding project is even free-to-play and free-to-win.

“We have a give or get approach,” Lichtmann says. “You can give money or get your friends on board. Either way, you can win great prizes. Other crowdfunding sites have a ‘give or get lost’ attitude.”