Using 'World of Warcraft' to cut gamer screen time, increase maker revenue | 9/25/2019 | Staff
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Yulia Nevskaya's first foray into the "World of Warcraft" started one evening at 7 p.m. She created an avatar to represent her in the online video game and set off to explore another land.

"It's like another Earth. It looked like paradise," Nevskaya said. "I was completely immersed."

Thing - Am

The next thing she knew, it was 4 a.m.

Nevskaya is an assistant professor of marketing at Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School who studies, among other things, how consumers form habits. Her recent research used data that a bot gleaned from World of Warcraft, a massively popular, multiplayer role-playing computer game set in a fantasy universe.

Blizzard - Entertainment - Game - Years - Subscribers

Blizzard Entertainment launched the game in 2004, and within seven years it had more than 10 million subscribers worldwide. A user in character in World of Warcraft spends, on average, 12.5 hours per week playing the game, and more than 53 million people in the U.S. played online games at least once a month in 2016, for example.

The study emerges against a backdrop of societal concern over the overuse of online products and screens, including games and beyond.

Nevskaya - Paulo - Albuquerque - INSEAD - France

Nevskaya and co-author Paulo Albuquerque of INSEAD in France focused their investigation on three main actions that the game developer has at its disposal to manage consumers' use of the game: redesigning content and in-game reward schedules, sending notifications to gamers, and imposing time limits on gameplay. In all, they analyzed a random sample of 402 gamers and nearly 15,000 gaming sessions.

They discovered this: When a firm changes its game's rewards schedule and also limits how long gamers can play in a sitting, the firm can actually make more money—and people devote a smaller share of their time on gaming.

Outcome - Firm - Consumers - Nevskaya

"It's a win-win outcome for both the firm and consumers," Nevskaya said.

"Those actions led to higher revenues and a smaller share...
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