Mobile Free-to-Play Video Games Come Full-Circle“Deja Vu” All Over Again

“Deja Vu” is an expression used to describe a current experience that feels as though it happened before. The phrase used to define this often eerie experience is “deja vu.”

Back in the 80’s arcade games had a very unique set of characteristics to them. Games were social and brought total strangers together. But with technology and the creation of devices, gaming evolved. Gaming changed from a social experience to a more solitary one, often played in the home. However the advent of computer networks and their increasing sophistication created the ability for people in disparate locations to experience games with others (multi-player, mmorpg). Games have also been penned “social” by their use of social networks like Facebook to bring friends together for gaming.

The table lists a variety of attributes that directly and indirectly affect engagement on different types of devices. Over time, gaming has evolved from arcade to console, PC, handheld and mobile free-to-play games. It’s interesting how mobile game engagement has come full-circle from arcade games in many respects. Mobile free-to-play games share similar engagement pressures with arcade games that strongly influence game design. At their core they are very much the same. How mobile free-to-play games are consumed and who plays them shapes everything about their design. It’s like “Deja Vu” all over again!

To read more about video game engagement, my other posts include:

Two-Minute Engagement: Learn From Classic Coin-Operated Arcade Games

Reduce Churn By Building Early Engagement

Engagement vs. Monetization: The Battle for Engagement in Games

The Importance of Engagement in Video Games

What is Video Game Engagement?


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