In-Game Achievements Can Now Earn You Real-Life Rewards

| 11 Apr 2011 17:25

If you're obsessed with getting achievements, then I have good news for you: Kiip wants to reward you for earning achievements by giving you free stuff.

What if every time you did something awesome in a game you were rewarded with not only a feeling of satisfaction, but a Dr. Pepper? That'd be pretty cool, right? Kiip (sounds like 'Keep') certainly thinks so, and it's working to make it a reality.

After seven months of secretly gathering partners, the startup has recently begun offering its services in 15 games across several mobile platforms. By doing well in these games and reaching checkpoints, you earn rewards offered by by Kiip's advertising partners. You could get free food from Popchips, Dr. Pepper, and Carls Jr., or even chances at winning big-ticket items like cruises and vacations.

Heading the company is 19-year-old Brian Wong, who explained that he created the company after seeing how immersed people could become in their mobile games, and that in-game pop-up advertisements killed that immersion. He wanted a better way to do in-game advertising, and after some thought, came up with Kiip's achievement reward system.

When I think about it, I find it's actually an evilly brilliant idea. You work hard at your game to beat a particularly difficult level, and when you finally do you feel euphoric and happy. And who's there at the finish line with a prize and a pat on the back? Dr. Pepper (or whoever happens to be providing your reward) is. So not only does this system promote brand awareness and give out free samples, it actually conditions you to associate happiness and good feelings with the advertisers. It's freaking genius, in a Mr. Burns sort of way.

Kiip has not explicitly mentioned which games are using its system, as it doesn't want people to flock to those games just to try and earn rewards, which are supposed to remain a secondary part of playing the game. "We want the focus to be on you playing the game, not going out to get rewards," said Wong.

So far, tests have shown that this method of advertising is amazingly effective, with 50 percent of people offered the reward actually confirming it with their email, an astounding number compared to the usual fractions of a percent of people brought in by regular banner ads.

Source: Wired

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