Report: Gamification (of Apps) has reached its peak, Commoditized by meaningless badges.

As gamification moves from the leading edge to more widespread use by early adopters, now is the time to understand and evaluate this important trend, according to Gartner.

Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80% of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design.

“The challenge facing project managers and sponsors responsible for gamification initiatives is the lack of game design talent to apply to gamification projects,” said Brian Burke, research vice president at Gartner. “Poor game design is one of the key failings of many gamified applications today.”

While game mechanics such as points and badges are the hallmarks of gamification, the real challenge is to design player-centric applications that focus on the motivations and rewards that truly engage players more fully. Game mechanics like points, badges and leader boards are simply the tools that implement the underlying engagement models.

Gamification describes the use of the same design techniques and game mechanics found in all games, but it applies them in non-game contexts including: customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, sustainability and health. Virtually all areas of business could benefit from gamification as it can help to achieve three broad business objectives 1) to change behavior; 2) to develop skills; or 3) to enable innovation.

Gamification, as Gartner notes is approaching its peak in the hype cycle and has been commoditized by meaningless badges.

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