If I were completely honest, I would admit that I took two very overly-hyped terms and combined them together to create the title to this post. But, there’s more here than meets the eye. If you look at the graph below you’ll notice a trend, some of the largest funded projects on Kickstarter were games. Just take a look at the stats:
The majority were digital/video games, according to Kickstarter’s own admission. I’m not a gamer myself, but the market is huge, especially for the 1% of winning games that are able to get a profitable franchise going. Just look at the likes of King and it’s saga “Candy Crush.” It’s nothing but margin. Gamification has also been touted as a possible solution to other markets like education, including math, English and even learning foreign languages. The opportunities for interaction and increasing awareness are absolutely huge, if done right.
We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on how gamification and crowdfunding could come together. Think for a moment if someone were to successfully weave a story into a Kickstarter campaign, provide an initial game that may cost a few bucks to play, but was addictive and viral, it could help to boost contributions to the campaign by the thousands, or more. Combine such an idea with non-accredited equity crowdfunding and you’ll likely blow the lid off the initial crowdfunding goal for the equity campaign.
Let me be clear here, I’m not just talking about using equity crowdfunding to fund a game, but I’m talking about gamifying the process of investing and not in the virtual way MyHero did it. I’m talking about bringing in a compelling story that fits with an intended, highly segmented audience of potential equity investors. The game would be simple, viral, perhaps somewhat mysterious and would require some crowdsourcing itself, perhaps to crack a code to learn something new and interesting about a character or the story line. Unbeknownst to the user would be the fact that the game itself would somehow work as a non-direct promotion of the gaming company’securities offering. Something like this could be more viral than anything we’ve ever seen. And when I say viral, I mean the amount raised in an equity campaign would be absolutely massive.
Everything discussed would require some very strict adherence to SEC laws, etc. But with the ban on general solicitation, something like this could have already been done (promoted to everyone, but funds collected only from accredited folks, of course), but we’ve not yet seen, at least to my knowledge. Let’s be frank, something like this just wouldn’t be worth it without Title III. Doing it on Kickstarter would at least be non-dilutive. What do you think? Do you ever see gamification being used as a way to promote public or private company stock? What are the legal ramifications? If you were a game developer, how would you do it?