Cross-game Scavenger Hunt

Here is an overview of an in-game "scavenger hunt" idea I had recently. It's sort of "badge collection meets promo items" that encourages players to play multiple MMOG games (but not necessarily simultaneously).

Basic Idea

Player Perspective: Players that succeed in the hunt within one game get rare items related to that game. The more they hunt and succeed, the "better" the items. Also, the more games they hunt in, the quicker they progress to higher tier items.

Some players will become scavenger hunters and strive to "level up" their game company's master accounts.

Promotional Perspective: The hunt utilizes a number of existing tools and game mechanics to incentivize players into playing more than one of our games, either simultaneously or back-to-back. This helps keep players within the MMOG company's "gamer ecosystem."

How It Works

Hunting Example: Each participating game has several scavenger hunt quests that players can pursue. Players that succeed in scavenger hunt quests will be awarded reward tokens.

Let's say that a player only owns Game Alpha. He receives a scavenger hunt quest from an in-game contact, which wasn't hard to find.
As a casual player the requirements of the quest will take several sessions to achieve. Fortunately, most of the requirements can be achieved during normal gameplay, but some of the requirements require some effort to meet.
Soon, he succeeds in his first quest and is given a reward token that can be redeemed for Game Alpha "novelty" items. (Only Game Alpha items are "unlocked" for collection.)

Tokens Explained: Players collect, save, and redeem reward tokens. Tokens are redeemed at will by the player in a novelty gift store.

Think of these tokens like the reward tickets at Chuck E Cheese or earnable points in a company store.

Novelty Gifts Explained: Novelty gifts are reward items that have "no real world value."

Any effect they have on game balance will be minimal. Examples include non-combat pets, rare costume parts, special dyes, and cool weapons. These items are in the same ballpark as the pre-order items, vet rewards, and magazine promotion pets that MMOG companies already give out.

Some inexpensive items could be "one time" items, like clothing dyes. More expensive items could be more permanent, like costume parts. Some items could be transferrable, like mini-pets.

In general, the "better" rewards will cost more tokens.

Multiple Tiers of Rewards: Players may take on more than one scavenger hunt. Players that pursue a certain number of additional hunts are rewarded by being allowed to pick items from a tier 2 reward set.

For example, when our Game Alpha player succeeds in five hunts, he would be able to pick from tier 2 rewards.

Even more successful hunts allow them to pick rewards from higher tiers.

For example, if our Game Alpha player succeeds in ten hunts, he would be able to pick from tier 3 rewards.

Higher Tiers for Multi-Game Owners: Players that succeed in hunts within more than one of our games progress to a higher tier faster than if they owned fewer games.

For example, a Game Beta player succeeds in one Game Beta scavenger hunt quest. He buys Game Gamma and succeeds in one Game Gamma scavenger hunt quest. Completing these two hunting quests immediately allows the player to pick from tier 2 items for either game. (Both Game Beta and Game Gamma reward items have been "unlocked" for collection.)
(Compare to our Game Alpha player who needed five successful Game Alpha quests to achieve tier 2 rewards.)

Other Thoughts

This scavenger hunt may be implemented easier in games with a pre-existing quest system. It may work even better if piggy-backed on a game's existing badge system.

For game companies that have some kind of "gold account" where people could pay for multiple accounts at once, this would provided added incentive to purchase such a thing.

The novelty gift system could also exist independently from the scavenger hunt system. In addition to obtaining rewards from scavenger hunting, players could receive reward tokens for buying a game box, subscribing for 1 month, subscribing for 1 year, participating in a community event, magazine promotions, etc.

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