Why Indoor Play operators are turning to Gamification to drive revenue


Gamification, a simple concept that has quite incredible results.

So, what is it? Gamification adds typical game elements, such as having a time to beat, points scoring or competition to other areas of activity. We believe it’s pivotal in addressing the perpetual question - how do I drive repeat business and keep visitors coming back for more?

At Rugged Interactive, everything we design and manufacture has gamification at its core. Here’s why…

The Power of Gamification

By giving users a score or time to beat, it creates an element of challenge. It’s this challenge that drives repetitive use and the frequent reaction “can I play again?”. Players want to do better, score higher and compete with friends and family to top the leaderboard. It’s widely recognised that gamification is highly motivating for users, so by incorporating this into soft play centres, operators find enjoyment levels and customer satisfaction can skyrocket. If you can generate re-playability, you’re onto a winner.

Customers now expect a memorable experience. They want something they can’t do elsewhere and that feels good value for money. For indoor play centres, they need to attract and delight both children and adults. Leave one out of the picture, and repeat visits are far less likely. Memorable experiences are created by combining fun with challenge, making the centre a ‘destination’ and ensuring that staff spread the joy (oh, and good coffee won’t go a miss for the parents too…).

Soft Play Structures, But Not As You Know Them

Kids just want to play. But what if you could take traditional play up another level?

Let’s take your typical soft play frame. Now picture that structure illuminated with interactive lightpods that players must hunt for as they crawl, climb and jump up to hit them out. So let me introduce Freedom Gaming - a competitive interactive arena full of fun and activity for all the family.

Freedom Gaming is a simple, retrofitable solution that is suitable for both unsupervised ‘free play’ and for more supervised group activities such as birthday parties and afterschool clubs. With its high-tech look and feel, operators who have installed Freedom Gaming have found that it increases the perceived value of their indoor play centre, enabling them to hugely increase profitability by charging premium entry prices.

Tom Filer, owner of two family entertainment centres in the Southwest of England, was one of the first to install the system. Since doing so, his customer satisfaction (Net Promotor Score) has increased from a highly creditable 70% to an astonishing 82%. He has boosted his birthday party bookings and income, and widened his target demographic – now attracting more groups of older kids during typically quiet times – and at the same time raised prices and grown profits.  

This injection of gamified tech has flipped his down-time to dream-time and has become an instant income generator.

Using Interactives to Widen your Appeal

Combining interactives with physical challenges has proved to be a great way of widening the age appeal for indoor play centres and enticing those who like a bit more tech. There will always be games and sports that never lose their appeal, so tapping into this can only mean one thing – more visitors and return visits. A classic example of where this has worked brilliantly is when PowrPlay is involved. Our PowrPlay interactive football targets, scoreboard and automatic timer instantly turn a mini football area into (what feels like) a stadium of dreams, with a thrilling addition of a new skill challenge (hitting the targets accurately) for players to master.

Operators who have installed PowrPlay have seen a huge increase in new ‘football fan’ visitors, who then return for more, including local football teams who make bookings for team building and skills training. Some soft play centres are now working with ‘SoccerTots’-type providers of football training sessions for tinies and tots to increase revenue during quiet hours. Couple this with more football-specific parties on weekends and suddenly, that initial PowrPlay investment is proving to be a star signing!

Gamificaiton is everywhere - from the Duolingo language app to Starbucks rewards. It’s used by some of the most successful companies in the world and there’s a good reason for that – because it works! We strongly believe in the power of the game, so if you’d like to join our club, you know where we are.

By Rugged Interactive - Interactive Products for Fitness, Fun and Health




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