Friday, May 09, 2014

A Brief History of Gamification: Part VI - The Predictions

Since gamification, as a new buzzword and a popular term in digital media, hit the mainstream, several advisory and research companies, consulting firms and others start to draw some forecasts about the future of gamification. Most of them use the concept in marketing and enterprise perspective and state how gamification will impact business.


Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, stated that
  • In 2014 most companies will have at least one gamified application.
Since 2011, Gartner added gamification to its “hype cycle for emergent technologies”, pointing for a period of 5 to 10 years for mainstream adoption. Before 2011, gamification was not yet part of the cycle (see the 2010 Hype Cycle).

Gartner uses hype cycles to track technology adoption: after the “peak of inflated expectaions” pe- riod, technologies will fall into the “trough of disillusionment”. Then, they will start evolving to the “slope of enlightenment” and some of them will reach the “plateau of productivity”. By 2013, gamification was at the “peak of inflated expectations”.

"We think it is still on track (...) In our 2013 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, we place gamification at the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’. We continue to believe it will move into the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ in 2014." (Brian Burke, Gartner's research vice president).

M2 Research

Deutsche Bank

Deutsche Bank predicts the market size of gamification to $4.2-5.3 billion within the enterprise space only (source).

Markets and Markets

M&M, a market research company and consulting firm, predicted that the gamification market is estimated to grow from $ 421.3 million in 2013 to $5.502 billion in 2018.


The IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, said last February, that their members anticipate that 85 percent of our lives will have an integrated concept of gaming in the next six years. While video games are seen mainly for their entertainment value in today’s society, industries like healthcare, business and education will be integrating gaming elements into standard tasks and activities, making us all gamers (source).

They did not say how they get this insight from their members.

Pew Research Center and Elon University

A May 2012 Pew Research Center and Elon University survey of more than 1,000 Internet experts and users showed that they were about evenly split on gamification’s future: 53% believed it would become widespread with some limits, while 42% said it would not transform into a larger trend except in specific situations (source). 

The experts answered the question: Will the use of gamification, game mechanics, feedback loops, and rewards to spur interaction and boost engagement, buy-in, loyalty, fun, and/or learning continue to gain ground and be implemented in many new ways in people’s digital lives between now and 2020? (source)

Other predictions for 2014:

No longer just hype, gamification will emerge as a powerful engagement tool to increase customer loyalty and conversions. Major global corporations from Oracle to American Express are already diving head first into gamification, with Oracle gamifying their annual Open World conference in late 2013, and American Express betting big on gamification for customer engagement and employee compliance. Businesses are understanding that gamification is much more than “PBL” points-badges-leaderboards, and instead a powerful program which requires nurturing over time to continue increasing relevant and high-value user behavior, and ultimately long-term engagement (source).

The report The Future of Gamification from the Pew Research Center and Elon University also stated that some scholars and educators, too, have become interested in harnessing the potential of gaming mechanics and sensibilities as tools for advancing learning. A “serious gaming” movement has arisen to apply gaming techniques to such realms as military and corporate and first-responder training programs, civilization and environmental ecology simulations, K-12 educational programs on subjects like math and history and the sciences, news events and public policy campaigns, problem-solving strategies in the natural sciences, and even physical exercise programs

The Horizon Report 2014 - Higher Education Edition points to a two to three years time-to-adoption horizon for the adoption of gamification in the higher education field: While a growing number of educational institutions and programs are experimenting with game-play, there has also been increased attention surrounding gamification — the integration of gaming elements, mechanics, and frameworks into non-game situations and scenarios. Businesses have embraced gamification as a way to design incentive programs that engage employees through rewards, leader boards, and badges, often with a mobile component. Although more nascent than in military or industry settings, the gamification of education is gaining support among educators who recognize that effectively designed games can stimulate large gains in productivity and creativity among learners."

Accurate or not, these predictions brought new highlights for gamification that become a new trend, not only in business, but in many other areas, like education and training. We are in the middle of 2014. Let's wait and see if the 2014 forecasts are accurate.


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