Seattle startup BigDoor powering rewards

With the NFL regular season fast approaching, the football league this week announced its first-ever NFL Fan Rewards. The program gives regular users of virtual coins in exchange for reading articles, commenting and taking part in other activities on the site. The coins can be redeemed for a variety of items, including discounts,… Read More


BigDoor rival Badgeville scores $25M for ‘gamification’ platform

Fast-growing Badgeville has reeled in $25 million in fresh funding, money that the 20-month-old Menlo Park, California startup will use to expand its gamification platform. Badgeville, which competes against Seattle’s BigDoor, said that its revenues grew by 300 percent year-over-year as it added customers such as Oracle, Dell, Samsung and NBC. Total financing now stands… Read More


The coding game: Microsoft’s Visual Studio gets badges, achievements and leaderboard

Is there anything that can’t be turned into a game? Apparently not. Microsoft today embraced the gamification trend by introducing a new plug-in for its Visual Studio development program that will let software developers unlock achievements, receive badges and work their way up a leaderboard based on the code they write. And of course, they can… Read More


Cheezburger cans ‘collectibles,’ discontinues virtual coins

Cheezburger’s experiment with an online currency and collectibles program has ended in … failure. The Seattle company announced this week that it will pull the plug on the Cheezburger Collectibles program and discontinue the use of Cheezburger Coins on January 15th. “Though we have greatly enjoyed running the Collectibles Program, we are not able to devote… Read More


FlowPlay brings virtual goods, avatars to Yahoo Messenger

Why just chat with someone, when you can chat in a virtual condo or apartment? Seattle startup FlowPlay, maker of the ourWorld virtual world, is promising that and much more with a new offering being announced today with Yahoo Messenger. Instead of just chatting with text in the normal fashion, your avatar can chat with… Read More


Mindbloom: A new game designed to change your life

In some games, you solve puzzles. In others, you try to wipe out enemy forces. But a new offering from Seattle’s Mindbloom has a deeper, more spiritual purpose. It wants to help you improve your life, nurturing a virtual tree by engaging in positive behavior related to health, exercise, relationships and finances. Tasks in the… Read More


Seattle gamification startup BigDoor buys OneTrueFan

BigDoor believes it has the keys to success to increase engagement on Web sites. And today the fast-growing Seattle startup — led by technology veterans Keith Smith and Jeff Malek — is taking a step to accelerate those efforts. BigDoor has acquired OneTrueFan, a San Francisco-based startup which has developed a Web site widget that… Read More


The dreaded ‘G’ word: Gamification

I’ve been spending a portion of the week at the Casual Connect conference in downtown Seattle, a three-day extravaganza which highlights everything you could possibly imagine about the casual games business. This year, one of the hot topics of discussion has been “gamification,” the concept of rewarding users with virtual coins, badges or more for participating… Read More

Keith Smith in the KIRO studios (Erynn Rose photo)

Rewind: Keith Smith, BigDoor CEO, on the economics and future of gamification

Our guest this past week on the GeekWire Podcast was Keith Smith, CEO of BigDoor, a Seattle company bringing the principles of video games to the world of online publishing, with badges, leaderboards and other rewards for users of traditional websites. He talked about the company’s new deal with Major League Baseball, the underlying economies of… Read More