Economy Neuromarketing Videogames

How to engage mobile games?

I spent a few days a little stale mobile game and as many of my friends. I do not usually play games too, in fact I never had a game console at home and just got me hooked on specific type PC games Monkey Island. However, the arrival of the mobile app gets occasionally all (yes, you too) fall into the temptation to take a few games to a game that has “coincidentally” come to settle in our smartphone.

I will not say the name of the specific game, but as it has used as an example in the post I will tell you: my hero has already won two awards for best player in the world of football, I changed 5 times team and once the dorsal 49 which inicias. Okay, if you know what game speak leave in the comments 😉 Yes, it’s the Score! Hero.

From the point of view of companies that generate these games are a gold mine, if they engage, but if the engagement of the users becomes video game addiction can become a health problem. In addition to this is added to the mobile addiction itself, too common today. We must differentiate fondness for addiction.

However, this post will be devoted to the components that achieve the coupling. Marketing and neuromarketing of these games generates millions of euros every year and is worth analyzing some clues from a psychological point of view.

What brand of game wants to achieve with your business strategies is an engagement with the player, that is, a loyalty to the user and prospect potential. This ensures that, although the game is free, people eventually have to pay certain amounts for improvements in the game, new levels or the premium version.

How do they engage the games?

1. Business model

There are games pay directly for a reduced price that you have the full game without ads. They are inexpensive and have your audience but if you look the most engaging usually “free”. I say free because what the brand does is give you a freemium version of the game. The freemium version of the game which gives you is the ability to play a game of high performance quickly and without paying anything. You put it in your eyes and you only have to give install.

Normally the freemium version with annoying ads (trick: put the airplane mode while you play). Once installed and give you the chance to download the premium version of full payment, make some kind of subscription or simply paying you will go if you go beating levels, get new challenges and skills, etc. First you get free candy and then steal the entire portfolio once hooked. Yes, like drugs. Of course, no one forces you to buy anything but some (many) fall into temptation. There’s the business.

2. Notifications

Yes, everyone has come Candy Crash any notification or something similar. Moreover, seeing that many of your friends are playing generates an effect of social validation and you say dammit, if you play everyone will try!

Besides, once you start playing often use some kind of notification system to alert you of any earned achievement while you have the phone in your pocket or warn you that already have lives to continue playing.

3. Free Gifts

Calls attention through spontaneous free gifts are a claim for loyalty. In this particular game you give away randomly by some other “premium” that would be paid later. In psychology, specifically operant conditioning, calls this program variable ratio reinforcement, and is usually the best results usually give. It is the same system used slot machines. Occasionally I have to give you a piece of candy, but you know when you I will give. In the game I do speak perfectly. The free bonuses give you life to retry your challenge!

4. Constants questions

If we ask something we are forcing “answer” with which. If a challenge when you finish the game itself is asking you if you want to buy bonuses just when just lost a challenge and a nice button because the temptation rises if the potential benefit is immediate. In addition, the colorarán button right next to the closing or have a timer that makes you lose your nerve to give so as not to wait until the window is closed.

(Stopped writing for a moment I’m going to take a little game. Okay, that’s it. I have not met the challenge and come to get me through the eyes to subscribe me to the game or buy some more chance. Now I have to wait …)

5. Time to wait: the principle of immediacy

We mentioned earlier. But I emphasize that what the successful games is that when you end the lives can recover only the if you wait a while. Waiting is a feeling hated by many and the principle of immediacy makes sense. I want it and I want it now. Patience will be your ally but not everyone does. When the time to wait finish receive your notification, although in many cases your slight addiction and watching when you have time left to play again. Ah! Do not worry if you are someone who never buys anything, the publicity will also bring them benefits and the option to view an advertising video to achieve more lives or challenges you going to eat a whole to continue playing. And you know. Sometimes what they do is that if you connect to a social network like Facebook, you get some life. What you’re doing is giving them free advertising for new prey.


6. Rankings

Give me a ranking ahead and try to be as high as possible. The exhibit some type of classification promotes competitiveness almost innately. Personal growth. Damn, I have not exceeded the level and I have to get in the top 4! Exposing well claritos poderte levels to compare with your friends you will play and play to beat the typical friend who always (because there is always one) is at a higher level. And usually your brother / a will also be above you, or so they say. The like you, starlets / hearts / xps always work, because you want to always have more than your brother / a. And you know.

7. Share achievements

The typical button to share the results with your friends on the social networks is rarely missing. You’ll do just and only if you have good results to show pride or if you get some life or benefit do, which is likely. As stated above is free advertising. Anyway, everyone likes to feel good at something, even a simple game.

8. Simplicity

The design games to play with the greatest number of people and the easiest way possible. With the touch phones today is amazing, for example, how you can make a game changer from field to field almost perfect, you’re feeling a football Koeman. We are masters of the ball with your index finger. That is, what they want is to look like you’re good to keep playing. simple, beat scores phases and give you complete any bullshit make you feel better and keep playing challenges. Once the challenges begin to be more difficult to start the game from the temptation to buy skills to overcome this other friend who without buying anything is at a higher level than you. You will not tell, but just have bought a little something so that we can plant in the face to your brother / a that you are at level 300 (or whatever). In addition, I take on mobile everywhere with me and I can play anytime.

9. Contents

Although the game is simple content needs to be relevant and sometimes universal or for all audiences. And game designers to put the most colorful colors as claim are responsible. In some games, what they do is create a very very good version and containing very accomplished and even premium or higher level but leave you with honey on the lips when you exceed the one level to the next level. Your brother / to be at that level. Be careful, think before pulling credit card.

10. Immediate Payments

What credit card I say this because once you link your account to Google Play or whatever seems to hurt less. That juicy button buy typical prices of € 0.99, € 1.99 is knocking on the door of your patience, and your conscience.

11. Stimulus

You need a real motivation to keep playing when levels are not enough. This style games themselves often include words of encouragement every time you make some kind of good movement: Excellent! Good pass! Genius!. Even though you know that a machine is what you’re automatically saying … Host, I’m good. In psychology this is called positive reinforcement. Also, when you make a mistake throwing messages you are the type: For little! What a pity, you have been close! or things like that, words of comfort. I’m playing again.

In the game specifically talking to’ll start playing on different teams and winning individual awards with your hero. You know they give it to everyone equally and that gustito but you feel for a moment when you see that you get a Golden Ball and chips for the club … and win a hat-trick!

12. Infinite Game

Normally, the levels of these games are usually infinite or with many levels. You will always want more and more because you do not know what the limit, if any.

13. Dopamine: the biological key

Dopamine is one of the neurotramisores system manager of pleasure and reinforcement in our brain. As you liking what you do, because it is easy to overcome challenges and this strengthens you, your brain is flooded with dopamine. The problem with this is what happens as with drugs, for example. When the system gets used to that level of dopamine receptors they need more and more to get the same pleasure. The lack of dopamine generate these biological symptoms of addiction: depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, nausea, etc … Apart from the added social problems.

For the latter, I hope this post has helped you to help you not fall into extreme temptation and learn to enjoy the games moderately.

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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    • Hola Alexander.
      Los psicólogos somos los profesionales que tratamos de entender la conducta y comportamiento humano, con lo cual la psicología es la ciencia en la que se basa cualquier estrategia de engagement. Se trata de motivar a un individuo a interactuar con un determinado juego. El marketing y la publicidad se sustentan en principios psicológicos, por lo que una de las ramas de la psicología es también el marketing. Un diseñador de juegos debe comprender estos principios y en todo caso, mi recomendación sería que consultase con un experto en comportamiento humano.

      Gracias por el comentario.

      Un saludo.

  • Muy interesante el artículo! Soy psicólogo y me ha sido útil para ordenar alguna de la información de cosas que yo ya estaba viendo en terapia. Podría añadirte que también hay juegos (así me lo contaba en terapia un chaval hace una semana) que te dan cierto tiempo para superar cierto reto y sino, pierdes la bonificación del reto. Este chaval me decía que el prefería hacer los retos al día porque sino “se le acumulaban”.

    Por último, decirte que cuando hablas de los efectos de la “adicción” y mencionas la depresión, y demás, deberías quizás matizar en que son los efectos de la abstinencia. Por lo demás genial, gracias!

    • Hola Jon!

      Muchas gracias por el aporte. Cierto, debería referirse más a la abstinencia o la sensación de anticipación. Me alegra saber que le ha sido de ayuda a un colega de profesión 🙂

      Un saludo.

      Iván Pico
      Psicólogo Online

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