Playtika is rewarding mobile gamers for building online communities during the COVID-19 pandemic
In response to the heightened risks of social isolation caused by the international COVID-19 pandemic, leading mobile gaming company Playtika is aiming to increase social engagement and boost community resilience through its games.
Players are being encouraged to support each other and to prioritise in-game social interaction, in order to strengthen online communities within some of the world’s most popular mobile games. The overarching goal is to help combat loneliness and social isolation amongst more than 30 million people who play Playtika titles every month.
In-game incentives have been designed to encourage key behaviours associated with the most social mobile gamers. Surveys conducted by Playtika studio Wooga - the highest grossing Hidden Object games developer worldwide – suggest that around a quarter of players already prioritise social engagement on this type of casual mobile titles.
Using survey responses from over 175,000 players of Wooga’s leading title June’s Journey, two distinct gaming personas highlight motivations and behaviours commonly associated with interactive and sociable mobile gamers:
Players who use gaming to form community bonds, by engaging with others through group vs group competition.
Players who gravitate towards honing their gameplay skills by measuring them against the ultimate challenge: other players.
To combat social isolation and anxiety, Playtika’s in-game activations are encouraging more introverted gamers to experiment with more interactive gameplay and to take a more active role in online communities:
Slotomania, one of the world’s first free-to-play social casino games and a top 10 grossing app in the App Store and Google Play
Slotomania’s ‘Clans’ feature and in-game chat function are shifting players’ focus away from individual gameplay towards team-working and collaboration.
Clans of up to 10 people can take part in Weekly Clan Missions and shorter-term Clan Challenges. Missions and challenges can only be completed if the whole Clan works together, with each individual Clan member contributing.
Every time a Clan-affiliated player wins a virtual prize or completes a level, this results in an in-game virtual prize for their whole Clan. Clan prizes for individual gameplay provide a powerful incentive for Slotomania players to start or join a Clan.
Solitaire Grand Harvest, the highest grossing free solitaire game:
Despite being built around a solo card game, Solitaire Grand Harvest’s “Better Together” activation helps players find and interact with friends on the game map. The game map’s easy integration with social media encourages wider conversation about game progress and challenges.
Best Fiends, the pioneering free puzzle game from Playtika studio Seriously, with over 100 million downloads and 1.7 million daily active users
Best Fiends is enabling friends to support each other remotely by sharing daily virtual gifts that have a direct impact on game progression.
Gifts are sent as virtual letters and packages using the in-game Post Office feature. Best Fiends’ system of rewards directly incentivises gift sharing. Every time a player claims a free gift, the friend who sent it simultaneously receives a free gift of their own.
Pearl’s Peril, the longest-running Hidden Object title from Playtika studio Wooga
Increased incentives are being offered to players that use the game’s Visit Friends feature. Players can claim in-game gifts, such as energy, by using this feature to reach out to friends and by visiting their friends’ virtual islands.
Junes Journey, the highest grossing Hidden Object game worldwide from Playtika studio Wooga
Players visiting their friends’ virtual islands will be rewarded with new virtual items that can be gifted to other players. Additionally, the amount of energy given will be increased for longer durations of play. When competing in clubs with others, players can earn better rewards than when playing alone.
Nir Korczak, Chief Marketing Officer at Playtika, said: “Against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the need to encourage social connection through gaming is more important than ever. After surveying our players, it is clear to us that Playtika games can provide a valuable platform to combat loneliness and encourage social engagement. Playtika is committed to enabling the development of supportive online communities in any way that we can”.