Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GDC 11 Serious Games Summit Preview: Bunchball's Gamification Playbook

Serious Games driving player behavior and increasing engagement

Via: Game Developers Conference 2011 - Serious Games Summit

SGS Session: Gamification 201 - 60 Tactics in 60 Minutes [SGS Gamification]

Speakers: Molly Kittle (Bunchball)

Session Description: A look inside Bunchball's Super-Secret Invisible and Hard-to-Read Gamification Playbook - the tactics that they've learned from 4 years of implementing gamification solutions for companies of all sizes, and across multiple industries.

Takeaway: The answers to a lot of tactical gamification questions that you will encounter the minute you try to actually gamify something.

Bunchball's Background

Bunchball is a leading provider of online gamification solutions, used to drive high value participation, engagement, loyalty and revenue for some of the world’s leading brands and media. 

Based in Silicon Valley and founded in February 2005, Bunchball’s investors include Granite Ventures and Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Customers including Warner Bros, Comcast, Victoria’s Secret PINK, USA Network, LiveOps, and Hasbro use Bunchball’s Nitro gamification platform to create compelling, meaningful and enjoyable experiences for consumers, employees, and partners.

Nitro Drives Participation Using Gamification

On the web, information and entertainment are commodities and visitors are fickle; the differentiating factor between one site and another is the degree to which visitors are engaged.

That’s where Bunchball comes in. The innovative company studied the best in games, social networks, and virtual worlds, and extracted the components that were being used to drive consumer behavior, based on the fundamental human desires for reward, achievement, status, competition, and self-expression. Then Bunchball dove deep into the field of behavioral economics, learning about the irrational yet predictable ways people make decisions. The company took everything it learned and built Nitro, a web service designed to help companies drive consumer behavior online.

Nitro dramatically enhances companies’ ability to engage online consumers. Nitro enables us to track and reward participation across the Internet by adding game mechanics to websites, Facebook applications, and mobile applications. The Nitro solution includes a proven Gamification Platform and Analytics.

The Nitro web service, which is seamlessly integrated with customers’ websites, drives consumer behavior and online activity through game mechanics including point systems, levels, leaderboards, challenges, and virtual goods. According to Bunchball, the incentive- and rewards-based service is currently increasing online engagement and delivering returns for major brands. Nitro customers find that their online visitors spend more time on their sites, come back more frequently, and are personally invested in the site experience.

Via: Venture Beat - Latest Additions: Bunchball Helps Bravo “Gamify” its Top Chef All-Stars TV show

The Bravo TV channel is teaming up with start-up Bunchball to “gamify” its Top Chef All-Stars show so that fans will be more engaged and loyal.

Gamification adds game-like features, such as rewards and achievements, to non-game applications. San Jose, Calif.-based Bunchball has specialized in gamification for web sites for five years. With the TV show, Bunchball is creating a Virtual Top Chef competition on the BravoTV.com web site.

This kind of deal is what Bunchball is all about. Some of its customers have been able to double their impressions; one has seen a 40 percent increase in unique users, the company says. Another site saw an 85 percent increase in the amount of time spent on one site.

The game is all about getting users to be more loyal to the web site than they otherwise would be, and is part of a larger gamification trend hitting the market.

The game features all 18 “cheftestants” from the current TV show season. Fans can choose their favorite cheftestant, and then earn points and trophies by completing actions and activities on the site.

The cheftestant whose team has the most points at the end of the season will be honored with the Virtual Top Chef title and be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win $5,000. The more the fans play, the more they increase their chances of winning.

The game is a way to reward the most loyal and passionate fans, particularly those who watch season after season, said Mari Ghuneim, vice president of Bravo Digital Media. The competition focuses on strategy and team dynamics. Fans can recruit fans to their teams, or switch chef teams at any time. The top-performing fans are highlighted on the home page. Fans can earn trophies, which are displayed on the person’s profile page on the web site.

Rajat Paharia, founder and chief product officer of Bunchball, says it makes sense to integrate a virtual competition alongside the TV show, since rivalry is the heart of the show and fans can make a difference in the outcome of the show, which concludes on April 6.

Have a taste of it!

Daisy Whitney gives us the inside scoop on the companies that marketers and agencies are excited about starting with the marketing technology firm Bunchball, which has generated major buzz in the media and ad business for its "engagement" tools. You can learn about why networks like USA and NBC, media companies like Comcast, and brands like Victoria's Secret are inking deals with Bunchball.