The challenge

The Languini’s game team had a working theory—a competitive event with leaderboards. It would be monetized through “entry tickets,” and the key motivator was a good placement in the leaderboard.

Interested in testing that theory, they partnered with Solsten to examine their audience more closely–and they were surprised by what they found.

The solve

Collaboration beats competition.

Languini players’ top psychological motivators were altruism, friendship, and interpersonal relationships.

It suggested to Tilting Point that their players would actually prefer to collaborate with others and be altruistic rather than pitting them against one another in competition for leaderboard status. So, they shifted directions and created Crew Events which put players into teams so they could compete cooperatively. The gamers would share rewards amongst the team when they achieved goals like solving puzzles on the first try.

They added a feature based on their audience’s high altruism scores. Players could now thank fellow team members, who would receive a medal for every thank-you received. Those who collected enough medals would receive another small reward as a cherry on top of their success.

The game now motivated collaboration and altruism to an extent that aligned exactly with its players’ psychology. And, the metrics reflected exactly that.

The result

Crew events are one the most popular features players engage in. Average session length increased by more than 10 percent after introducing the feature. Over 80 percent of players regularly engage with the altruistic badge mechanic