The concept of gamification has been found in a lot of different areas, but the general idea is taking an activity and casting it in the form of a certain type of game. There is obviously a bit to wrap your head around with the idea of taking playing casino games and turning that into its own game, but when done well, it can spell serious prizes and opportunities for players. We want to break down how this gamification process works, what players can get from it and which casinos are currently using this idea in a solid way.
A Crash Course in Gamification
Gamification has two main parts: activities and rewards. In this case, the activity will normally be playing certain casino games, but that’s not strictly the case with online casinos. In fact, the activity being rewarded could be liking a casino site on a social media platform, installing a mobile app for the casino on your phone or simply logging in to play. It’s a very straightforward concept, but it can be applied to many different aspects of the online casino experience, so it’s not as boring as some players might expect.
The second part of this is the reward system. For online casino players, the biggest rewards are going to be things that give them monetary value or better chances to win. Along these lines, you can pick up things like free spins, bonuses, free chips, comp points, cashback and other deals that will make a direct impact on your bottom line. This helps to create a simple dynamic in the gamification system: If you perform certain activities, you will be rewarded for it. However, it’s not quite that simple.
Incremental and Escalated Earnings
The idea of incremental earnings and escalated earnings are extremely important when it comes to gamification, and without these concepts, you won’t really make it very far in terms of player interest.
Incremental earnings means that you aren’t rewarded for each individual task you perform right after you perform it. Instead, you work towards a goal that has to be earned over time. For example, you might need to play 100 slot spins in a day to claim a reward instead of being rewarded after a single spin, or you might need to log in on 20 different days to be rewarded along similar lines.
Going along with that, you have escalated earnings. What this means is that, as you earn different things, the size of both the rewards and what you have to do to earn them increases. This is often experienced through a “leveling” system that allows you to level up as you achieve different things inside of the gamification system. The higher your level, the better the rewards you can earn. However, it also becomes more difficult to get those rewards, which gives players more and more to strive for.
Why Gamification is Beneficial for Players
If we take a realistic approach to this, then it’s easy to see that the online casinos wouldn’t implement such a large scale program if there was nothing in it for them. To this end, we’re going to explain first what the casino sites get out of this. The answer is simple: Whenever players have more fun, they want to stick to the place where they’re having fun. A strong gamification system increases player retention in the online casino industry, which is known for players bouncing from site to site constantly with a very low level of brand loyalty.
With that out of the way, there are benefits for players as well. First off, good gamification systems mean great rewards. Since you’re earning most of these rewards by playing games and doing things that you would have been doing anyway, players are essentially gaining value for free that they wouldn’t have otherwise received.
There’s a bit more to it than that, however. Players also report that they have more fun whenever they play inside of an effective gamification system because it gives them more of a feeling of achievement as they move up through the levels of the program, and that’s something important to understand because increasing the enjoyment of the player’s experience is a huge aspect of gamification as a whole.
How Three Casinos Use Gamification
Here we are going to look at three different online casinos and how they use gamification in today’s environment. They go about doing this differently, but their programs all have some very similar ideas at the core.
Everything in their gamification process centers around what they call the Wheel of Rizk. Essentially, this is a wheel that players can spin to receive free spins, bonuses and other goodies as they level up from playing real money games. The rewards are made extremely user-friendly with no maximum cash out values, wagering requirements or significant game restrictions. You get free spins on the wheel whenever you start out and otherwise from time to time during the lifetime of your account, and you can also get chances to play on an improved version of the wheel with even better prizes.
Kaboo Casino takes a bit of a different approach. While Rizk is all about leveling, Kaboo is all about what they call missions. A mission at this casino is essentially an explanation of what it is that you need to do to claim a reward. It’s a very straightforward approach where players get to pick and choose which missions they do based on the games they play and the rewards themselves. A lot of the rewards are free spins, which can be used on a wide selection of games, which gives the players even more control than they normally get from free spin opportunities.
Finally, we have Ikibu, a site with a monkeys and jungle theme. The idea here is that you collect seeds through promotions and real money play that can then be exchanged for free spins in the Ikibu shop. There’s a little less on the incremental earnings side here since you’re earning points with each bit of play you have, but it works well in terms of having to accumulate those rewards since you have to save up enough seeds (which are much like a type of comp point) to purchase your free spins. A lot of your experience at this casino centers around the seed concept, so they’ve turned it into a very immersive experience.
Why Gamification is Better Than Standard Promotions
There are a lot of comparisons to be drawn between gamification systems in online casino sites and the standard approaches to promotions. Generally speaking, a well-implemented gamification program will always perform better in terms of giving players value, giving players a solid expeirence and increasing the retention rate for the casino itself. This is all for a simple reason: Play becomes more meaningful under this system.
The traditional casino bonus approach is great in that it gives players value, but often the terms and conditions create a convoluted mess that’s stressful to deal with. This pushes players away and makes them not really care that much about clearing bonus offers because they feel like they won’t really be getting rewarded that well in the first place. This is particularly true for players if they have been burnt in the past from unfavorable terms and conditions, even though we have recommended a number of sites in our reviews that have very fair and value-packed bonus offers and other promotions.
Along these lines, gamification systems provide an alternative to the traditional wagering requirement-based approach that virtually all online casino bonuses and promotions are based around. What makes them stand out in comparison is that players can see a direct link between the actions they are taking and the rewards they are getting. Whenever you make that as clear as possible, and whenever you hold up your end of the bargain with deals that players actually care about and no “gotcha” fine print terms and conditions, then you create a much more enjoyable experience.
The bottom line is that gamification is something that’s starting to pick up because sites like the three we briefly discussed that are using it are getting some excellent results from it. Whenever something starts working well, other online casinos try to jump in and copy it, and that’s just the nature of the industry. We’re at a point right now where a few sites are doing gamification really well, and it’s about to start to explode in popularity with other sites catching on. It’s anyone’s guess where this will take the industry as a whole, but we’re sure it’ll be interesting and valuable for the players.