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游戏化营销人员需分清的五种时髦术语

发布时间:2011-06-21 17:38:48 Tags:,,,

作者:Nicholas Lovell

切勿将游戏化、广告游戏、跨媒介传播、游戏内置广告和游戏制作混为一谈!在浪费你自己的时间、客户的金钱和委托合作伙伴的精力来制作错误产品之前,应该马上把这些词语区分清楚。

这5个流行术语(游戏邦注:更确切地说,应该是4个流行术语和1种职业生涯)的意思各不相同。它们需要不同的技能,旨在实现不同的目标,给最终用户带来不同的体验。了解这些不同之处并不难,但令我感到惊讶的是,游戏、广告和营销领域中努力将它们区分清楚的人少之又少。为了不让大家浪费金钱,本文将提供营销和游戏的相关指导意见。

gamification(from launchpad6.com)

gamification(from launchpad6.com)

游戏化

游戏化指的是用类似游戏的机制来改善运营过程、顾客体验和盈利。这与游戏制作和品牌延伸无关,主要是鼓励并奖励那些做法如你所愿的用户。你乘坐多次飞机后可以“升级”的品牌忠诚度计划就属于“游戏化”。问答网站为提供有价值答案的用户颁发徽章和成就也是游戏化。游戏正统主义者有时将游戏化戏称为鼓励机制,嘲笑这种做法并非制作游戏的本质。他们的想法是正确的。

但此等嘲弄无关紧要。游戏化人员并非想制作游戏,他们并非想攫取游戏精华并将其用于网站或产品中。他们想要掌握的正是游戏制作者已知晓的内容,即向用户展示应该做什么、提供奖励、利用心理学来鼓励某些行为,将这些知识运用于其他领域中。游戏化的首要规则是,这并非游戏制作。

我不确定现在是否有游戏化专家,毕竟这还是个新兴学科,而且优秀的实例也过少。你倒不如雇个游戏制作者,然后告诉他你要得到的不是游戏化而是鼓励机制。这样你至少可以避免与他们讨论要在游戏化趋势基础上增加多少游戏内容这个枯燥无味的问题。

广告游戏

广告游戏指的是某品牌付费让开发商制作游戏。品牌担负的是游戏发行商的主要职责,也就是出资赞助游戏。如果品牌公司有些许领悟力,他们会发觉游戏在用户留存率和盈利性方面都很不错,但曝光率表现不佳,他们将剩余营销精力都放在引导更多顾客接触游戏之上。不幸的是,我看到多数品牌公司认为游戏类似于电视插播广告。事实并非如此。

游戏不是大众传播媒介,他们为每个用户带来的是充满个性化的体验。正是这种体验让用户积极参与其中并深深扎根于脑海。这是种与观看30秒电视插播广告全然不同的体验。无论你的游戏是个由Kongregate和Miniclip制作的廉价Flash游戏,还是品牌化的iPhone游戏或Facebook社交游戏,品牌的职责都是为游戏带来用户并将其留在游戏中。优秀的游戏设计师可以保持游戏玩家的高度参与和定期回访。但首先,他们需要营销资金来推广游戏信息。

跨媒介传播

跨媒介传播指的是利用某种媒体的资本将其延伸至另一种媒介中。游戏发行商根据其PS3游戏发行小说属于一种跨媒介传播行为,儿童电视产品公司发布电视剧、漫画、音乐CD和图画书也属此类。现在跨媒介传播有了新含义,指在电影或书籍等非互动产品周边增加互动娱乐,通常有网站、应用或ARG(游戏邦注:全称“侵入式虚拟现实互动游戏”)等形式。问题在于,人们对这些东西的设想经常产生谬误。

我想提醒的是,游戏的强大之处在于不断随时间构建用户参与度和兴奋感,接下来便可以获得大量盈利。但是,对快速构建用户意识和兴奋感,游戏却并不擅长,但却仍旧可以实现上述目标。电影公司经常用游戏来为某巨作在影院的发布提供支持。他们的目标很简单,在4周的时间内尽量让影院的座位上坐满观众。这种一次性的游戏制作令我感到寒心。

跨媒介传播就是品牌延伸,利用不同媒体(游戏邦注:电影、书籍、漫画和游戏)的独特之处来以最佳方式展现商品优点,目标在于为粉丝们提供更多内容。坦白地说,将其与游戏化混淆确实有些荒诞。

游戏内置广告

游戏内置广告的目标在于将电视广告添加至大预算游戏中。Massive、IGA和Double Fusion等资金丰富的初创公司构建起广告服务技术,在《FIFA》之类的游戏中提供高质量广告。

由此带来的营销成果取决于玩游戏的用户数量。使用该版块服务的公司忽略了两个关键点:许多游戏并不适合做广告(游戏邦注:未来主义游戏以及刀剑和魔法游戏);在游戏内看到广告牌和在现实世界或电视插播广告上看到所产生的体验完全不同。值得褒奖的是,游戏内置广告初创公司认识到以上两点,在技术平台和过程中投入大量精力来帮助媒体购买者理解为此等服务买单。

但是,社交游戏和社交媒体的兴起使他们受到影响,营销人员的注意力逐渐偏离没落的盒装产品市场。据传微软2006年花4亿美元收购的Massive已在2010年倒闭,其他公司也是岌岌可危。简单地说,游戏内置广告似乎将成为下个引人关注的事物。2008年,奥巴马成功赢得总统职位之前也曾对这方面善加利用。

游戏制作

游戏制作完全可以称得上是艺术行为,它和写书、电影制作或唱片录制同样费时费力。工作团队可以是1人(游戏邦注:如iPhone游戏《Greedy Bankers》制作者Alistair Aitcheson和PC游戏《Gratuitous Space Battles》制作者Cliff Harris)、2人(游戏邦注:如Spilt Milk Studios的游戏《Hard Lines》和Mode 7游戏《Frozen Synapse》)甚至数百人(游戏邦注:如传统大型游戏)。

这是种创造性行为,需要面对各种挑战。过程与游戏化有很大的差别,可以是跨媒体传播项目的部分内容,也可以由某品牌来赞助抑或是含有游戏内置广告。这是个充满创意的领域。

营销人员应当了解游戏流行术语

这些术语之所以如此流行有一定的缘由。游戏在与玩家构建深层次、富有吸引力且长期的关系方面潜力无限,而这些正是营销人员所需要的内容。尽管如此,如果不善加利用,你得到的只是很少人会玩且毫无回头率的麻烦之物。如果你想要将游戏同营销结合起来,我希望这篇指导能够帮助你弄清楚到底需要做什么。接下来就是展开行动,去制作游戏、开展游戏化或在游戏内添加广告,做任何能最佳传达客户所需内容的事情。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

GAMIFICATION. ADVERGAMING. TRANSMEDIA. THE GAMESBRIEF GUIDE TO MARKETING AND GAMES.

Nicholas Lovell

If you use the terms gamifying, advergaming, transmedia, in-game advertising and game-making interchangeably, STOP! Stop right now before you waste your time, your client’s money and the efforts of whichever partner you commission to make the wrong product.

These five buzzwords (or, more accurately, four buzzwords and a career) all mean different things. They require different skills, achieve different objectives and give a different experience to end users. The differences aren’t hard to grasp, but it amazes me how few people in the games, advertising and marketing worlds make the effort to try. So in an attempt to stop everyone from wasting money, here is the GAMESbrief guide to marketing and games.

What is gamification?

Gamification is about using game-like mechanics to improve a business process, or customer experience, or profits. It is not about making games. It is not about brand extension. It is about encouraging and rewarding users for doing the things that you want them to do. A loyalty scheme where you “level up” for taking more flights is an example of “gamification”. An answers website which gives users badges and achievements for providing helpful responses is an example of gamification. Games purists sometimes refer to gamification as pointsification, deriding it as not being about making games. They are right.

But that doesn’t matter. Gamifiers are not trying to make a game. They are not trying to take the best bits of games and apply them to your website or product. They are trying to take many of the lessons that game-makers have learned – about showing users what to do, about offering rewards, about using psychology to encourage behaviours you want – and applying them to other fields. The #1 rule of gamification is that you are not making a game. (Read The 10 rules of gamification if you want to know the other nine.)

I’m not sure that there are any gamification experts out there: the discipline is too new, and there have been too few good examples. You could do worse than hire a game maker, and tell them that you are not gamifying, you are pointsifying. At least that way you avoid the dull-but-worthy conversations about how much more games have to offer than the gamifying trend allows.

What is advergaming?

Advergaming is when a brand pays a developer to make a game. The brand takes on one of the primary roles of a publisher, which is to fund a game. (For the other three – sales, marketing, distribution – check out my book How to Publish a Game.) If the brand has any sense, they will realise that games are great at Retention and Monetisation, but rubbish at Acquisition, and use the rest of their marketing to drive customers to the game. Unfortunately, in my experience, most brands think of games as being equivalent to a television spot. They are not.

Games are not a mass broadcast medium. They offer individual users a personalised experience. It is this experience that gives users such a high level of engagement and powerful recall. It is a totally different experience to viewing a 30-second television spot. Whether your game is a cheap Flash game seeded to Kongregate and Miniclip, a branded iPhone game or a Facebook social game, brands need to drive traffic to a game, and to keep them there. A good game designer can keep gamers highly engaged and coming back regularly. But they need marketing muscle to spread the message in the first place.

What is transmedia?

Transmedia is taking a media property and extending it into a different medium. A games publisher which commissions a novel of its PlayStation 3 game is taking part in transmedia. So is the kids television production company which releases a TV series, a comic, a CD soundtrack and a colouring book. (Although the colouring book is veering into merchandising.) Transmedia has come to mean “adding a piece of interactive entertainment around the edges of a non-interactive product, like a movie or book”. It often means a website, or an app, or an ARG (an alternate reality game). The problem is that these are often ill-conceived.

I’m going to remind you of the great strength of games: they build engagement and excitement over time, and they monetise well. They are not brilliant for building awareness and excitement fast. Don’t get me wrong. Games can do this. Movie companies in particular often commission games to support the theatrical release of a blockbuster. Their objectives are usually pretty limited: to get bums on seats in a cinema within a four week period. It breaks my heart that games are made to be so disposable.

Transmedia is about brand extension. It is about taking what is unique about different media (film, books, comics, games) and showcasing the intellectual property in the best possible way. It is about giving the biggest fans more. Much more. To confuse it with gamification is frankly bizarre.

What is In-Game Advertising?

In Game Advertising is a (largely discredited) attempt to bring television-style advertising to big-budget games. Well-funded start-ups like Massive, IGA and Double Fusion built ad-serving technologies to deliver high-quality advertising spots into games like FIFA.

Market predictions were based on the size of the audience playing games. The companies serving this sector missed two key points: Many games are unsuitable for advertising (futuristic games, sword and sorcery games); A billboard in a game is a fundamentally different experience from seeing one in the real world, or seeing a TV spot. To their credit, the startup in-game advertising companies recognised this, and invested heavily into technology platforms and processes to help media buyers understand (and buy) these spots.

Then they were hit by the emergence of social games and social media, which have drawn marketer’s attention away from the declining boxed product market. Massive which was bought by Microsoft for a rumoured $400 million in 2006 was shut down in 2010 and the other players are shadows of their former selves. For a brief while, in game advertising seemed like the next big thing. Barack Obama used it in his successful bid for the presidency in 2008. Now it is more like yesterday’s news.

What is game-making

Game-making is an art every bit as demanding as writing a book, making a film or creating an album. It can be done by a team of one (see Greedy Bankers from Alistair Aitcheson on iPhone or Gratuitous Space Battles from Cliff Harris on PC), two (see Hard Lines by Spilt Milk Studios or Frozen Synapse from Mode 7) or hundreds (see any traditional blockbuster game).

It is a creative endeavour, with all the challenges that entails (plus some of its own ones, such as dealing with changing technology). It is a totally different process from gamification. It can be part of a transmedia project, or funded by brands (i.e. an advergame) or carry in-game advertising. It is a creative discipline.

Marketers: know your gaming buzzwords

There is a reason these terms are so popular. Games have an unparalleled ability to build deep, engaging and long-term relationships with their players. This is a marketer’s dream. Mix up the different disciplines, though, and you will have a mess that few play and no-one returns to. If you want to marry the disciplines of marketing and games together (and I hope you do), I hope this guide will help you work out what exactly it is you need to do. Please share it far and wide. Then go and make games, or gamify, or place ads in games. Whatever will best deliver what your clients need. (Source: Games Brief)


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