What Makes Online Promotional Games Go Viral? Comparing the Impact of Player Skills versus Incentive Rewards on Game Recommendation

Damien Renard

Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Denis Darpy

Université Paris-Dauphine, Paris, France

MANAGEMENT SLANT

  • Viral promotional games differ from sweepstakes, because they provide a sense of control by demanding that players make an effort, whether by inviting friends or by demonstrating skills.
  • Managers seeking to use social networks should provide entertaining content, and viral games appear particularly well matched with consumers’ expectations.
  • Calling on players’ skills seems to play an important role in the decision to recommend the game.
  • Rewarding the inviter’s behavior with additional chances has a negative impact on behavior when individuals feel that they are skilled at performing the task.