Learning From Games: Fortnite and Exclusivity

Recently, gaming phenomenon, Fortnite ran an event that signalled the end of their current season and a whole new set of clues to what may be coming next.

Two weeks prior to the event, players had seen a skull on in-game televisions, which had turned into a countdown – heading towards the 30th of June. The Friday before the event, an in-game message advised players to get into the game on the 30th and look to the sky.

Players who were able to get in then witnessed a rocket launch that tore open an interdimensional rift in the sky.

It may not seem like much, but to players of Fortnite, this was a “Where were you when it happened” type of moment. A moment that will only happen live once. If you were not there, you will never get to experience it properly.

It was exclusive! Its exclusivity created a group of people who shared a particular bond formed on the simple basis of “we were there”. It may not seem important, but it is to them in the context of Fortnite.

In gamification it is often easy to lose sight of the fact we are dealing with real people, not just business objectives. They like to feel that those communicating with them, via whatever medium, value them in some way. They also like to feel that they are special!

Implementing Exclusivity in Gamification

There are many ways to create the feeling of exclusivity in your gamification solutions and they don’t have to be difficult.

  • Taking the time to create Easter eggs that only the most dedicated of players will find is a simple way to create that exclusive feeling for some.
  • Adding content that only players who have achieved certain things can access. For instance, if you have an avatar in your system, create a special hat that only players who have completed everything by the second Tuesday of the month get to wear.
  • Taking a leaf out of Fortnite’s book, create events that only happen the once, invite only or time sensitive.
  • Creating communication campaigns that target certain players is another. How many emails have you had that say things like “You are invited” or “You have been chosen”. You know that that email has gone to thousands of other people, but it feels personal, special. You were chosen, you are part of the special group.
  • Build up curiosity by hinting at things, like the TV screens in Fortnite. Create anticipation!


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Also published on Medium.

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