What Brands and Retailers can learn from World of Warcraft

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What World of Warcraft Can Teach Brands and Retailers

Given that the term 'gamification', first coined by Nick Pelling in 2002, originated from online gaming, it is apt to consider what brands and retailers can learn from Massively Multiplayer Online Games (‘MMOGs’) like World of Warcraft. 

At first blush you might not see much in common between World of Warcraft and filling your supermarket trolley on the weekend, signing up for magazine subscriptions or even buying cosmetics online. But there is a lot to be learned from how MMOGs keep users engaged, build in ‘switching costs’ and prevent customers going to competitors.

In particular, for a brand or retailer looking to engage with potential purchasers to get them to buy and then refer friends and family, there are interesting parallels how MMOGs work with the psychological user profiles to incorporate elements appropriate for each personality type.

The MMOG Business Model 

 Firstly we need to consider that MMOGs' business models are either:

  • A low monthly fee topped up by in-game purchases; or
  • No fee but entirely financed by in-game purchases

In either case, the entire economic viability of MMOGs is based on engaging users to keep them coming back


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