The ability of technology to inject social interaction to virtual worlds and online games is driving the growth in branded social gaming, according to social software and technology company, HuzuTech.
In an insight paper on ‘The rise of branded games’, HuzuTech’s MD, Graeme Harvey, examines the role that social interaction has in engaging consumers within a branded virtual environment. Allowing friends to interact within a branded game, invite their friends to play alongside them, and share information about the game over social networking sites like Facebook gives brands an ideal opportunity to promote their communities and expand the number of users coming to their site.
The cost of building these social gaming environments has been significantly reduced, thanks to technology developments which allow brands to use white label social platforms such as HuzuTech’s HuzuSocial (a social media platform) and HuzuVirtual (a virtual worlds platform) which integrate to allow friends to invite each other into the game, and share information such as game scores and updates over their chosen platform (including mobile), so players can keep in touch with what’s going on within the game wherever they are.
“The opportunity for brands is clear,” says Harvey. “Get it right, and social games could be the way to connect with an online fan base in a way that keeps them coming back to a branded property. It also offers the opportunity to sell virtual and real goods, subscriptions or merchandise.” The real opportunity, he argues, is for those companies that have existing character based assets, such as publishers or movie-makers (Scholastic is currently developing its Horrible Histories brand into a virtual world and social game using the HuzuVirtual platform).
The paper includes questions that brands should ask themselves before they go ahead with creating a social game within a virtual world, including: • Why would people visit the world and play the game? • Is it simple for users to invite their friends into the game? • Who is the world aimed at and is the content / tone right? • Is the game simple to play? • Is the world simple to navigate? • Does the world have a purpose, such as a game, or a quest? • What is the compelling reason for fans to return? • How do players get rewarded for success? • Is there a mobile element to the game? • Can the fans create or personalise their identities? • Can the game cope with high volumes? • How can fans bring their friends into the game? • Can players interact with each other within the world? • How is the game monetised?
For a free copy of the guide, visit huzutech.com.
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