March 5, 2014

How AMD Is Trying to Gamify Gaming

This is the state of gamification in 2014 – the gamifying of games. Well, not quite. But almost. Semiconductor company AMD, which makes some of the fastest graphics cards on the market, has just launched a loyalty program designed to further incentivize gaming. Users will get five points for starting to play a game, then two points for every additional 20 minutes of play.

The program is tied into AMD’s Gaming Evolved app, which helps PC users figure out the best graphics settings for their hardware. By crowd-sourcing data from the Gaming Evolved community, AMD can recommend optimal settings for popular PC games, and automatically adjust them for users. This is particularly helpful for gamers using custom graphics cards and modified hardware. This image from their site explains the basic system:

AMD Rewards Program Screenshot

AMD Rewards functions as an add-on to the Gaming Evolved app. In addition to being rewarded for gaming, users can receive extra points for participating in an online community, and optimizing their games using Gaming Evolved. The points they earn – called “Raptr Points” – can then be used in the Rewards Store. AMD says there’s currently over $5M worth of stuff there, including contests, gaming eyewear, graphics cards, and GameFly subscriptions.

Although this program may seem like an obvious idea, there’s an important lesson for businesses. Gamification apps are successful when they build upon the established interests of their users. AMD isn’t trying to change people’s behavior here. Instead, they’re providing additional incentives for players to keep doing what they already like – playing games and interacting with each other. Of course, AMD is also not-so-subtly promoting their hardware – but we doubt that will discourage many gamers from trying this program.

What would you like to get rewarded for doing? Let us know in the comments.

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