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The attention economy is dead, but Fortnite could hold the key to an answer



Attention economy is dying and she is not pretty. There is only so much time per day to pay attention to things, and we as a society have reached their limits. (By things I mean ads.) Fortnite however, has managed to remain culturally relevant and even grow since it was introduced in 2017 – which is unusual. And that's because the company's inventor, Epic Games, has figured out how to get people to stay alert.

"Paying attention" was a phrase before it became a literalization before people realized how much money was worth their time. The advertising industry ̵

1; and thus its supported industries, such as the media – is based on the idea that if you've heard of something and have a positive relationship with it, you're more likely to buy the product or experience. And that's not wrong: people make decisions for unknown reasons . It makes sense to monetize the basic irrationality of humanity. (Shit for the economists who market the Rational Consumer Model of Microeconomic Behavior!) But the basic assumption that the entire building is built becomes unstable, because what happens when society's attention is completely monopolized?

A recent report by media and technology research firm Midia underlines this point: "[E] Management has declined throughout the sector, indicating that attention-economy has peaked. Consumers simply do not have time to devote to new, eye-catching digital entertainment offerings. That means they have to prioritize. "The trend, they say, has lasted for a while and is only now promising a slowdown in sales – this was told by disappointing quarterly results from some major game makers. "Probably earlier than most game makers would have thought." As Midia researcher Karol Severin says, "Competition in the attention economy is more intense today than ever."

The problem is that attention is not scaled. There is only so much time per day to be advertised; Ads are becoming less effective as they are everywhere now. When was the last time you consumed something that did not try to sell you something or harvest your personal information in order to sell you better?


Enter Fortnite . As the most popular game in the world – or at least the best known – it represents a significant part of the attention economy. Fortnite is ubiquitous among the U-18 groups, and its microtransactions have earned Billions in profits for Epic Games. It really can not be overstated how popular the game is with young people: it becomes a shared culture with all the jokes, references and the coded language involved. If you are near two or more children, the chance of making a dance out of the game increases astronomically .

. But the real genius of Epic is in marketing to the young audience of the game: Fortnite is above all a place where you can meet your friends. So it's not strange that Weezer plays unreleased songs on an in-game island, and nobody beats the eye when DJ and producer Marshmello plays a concert in a virtual park.

The immense popularity of the game and its status as a meeting place have troubled its competitors in the attention economy. Last month, Netflix mentioned in its earnings report for 2018 that "we are competing (and losing) more than HBO with Fortnite (19459003)." As noted by Polygon Netflix sees the game as "stiff competition" because for the streaming giants, the most valuable consumer metric is screen time.When people play Fortnite they can not use Netflix

That means the ads (and the bands seem to have arrived) It's not hard to imagine Fortnite (19459003) becoming a place where advertising is unremarkable and yet omnipresent, like The play has already promoted Disney's release of Ralph Breaks Internet and introduced Avenger's villain Thanos with little complaint from players, possibly due to this That the collaborations were limited in time and had only a few missions and did not particularly affect the gameplay, it was I mean, you wanted it as in the case of Thanos. Fortnite allows for this type of otherwise invasive change. Every few months, Epic releases an extensive update that revises the map and featured elements – Epic calls them seasons, just like television. And everyone has the same purpose: to bring back players just a little longer and also to keep away from other Battle Royale games. Fortnite's latest update featured at least two key features of Apex Legends the publisher's first Battle Royale EA. (19459004) Apex managed to find a whopping 25 million players in less than a month after a surprise release without a promo, and it's currently the only real competition that Fortnite has in the room. "It's not so that it is particularly good or worse for the attention economy than others, but it is a string for generations that usually have more time to allocate, which is why it performs so well in the attention economy, "says Severin It's more of a generational cultural change: Fortnite is one of the first to build a truly successful business model for selling digital assets that will not bring players any progress in the game itself – they're just cosmetic. "Twenty years ago, he continued, people define themselves by the clothes they wear and what they have heard n. "Today, the personal image of consumers in the virtual world is defined to a much greater extent."

That Netflix even acknowledges Fortnite as a competitor is important because digital media corporations admit that growth is not infinite and, in response, postpone their ambitions. Netflix does not release a Battle Royale game. (Probably.) But I'd bet they'll continue to experiment with interactive elements – such as Black Mirror 's latest episode, "Bandersnatch."

During Black Mirror The audience is largely grown, it's no coincidence that the company offers interactive deals for younger people who are in the same demographic Fortnite . Netflix partnered with the late Telltale Games for an interactive cartoon version of Minecraft: Story Mode . A Stranger Things -spirited collaboration was also in work before Telltale was closed, and Netflix says it's still going to "test other options to live the Stranger Things To bring an interactive medium to life ", so Polygon .

The eighth season of Fortnite began a few days ago, and the island has changed again. This time there is a volcano with lava, guns to shoot at and a pirate theme; Well-known locations have been replaced by new ones where players can work for hours. When I logged in the other day, the other players seemed to be better somehow – as if they had just returned from another game somewhere else and wanted a return to the acquaintance.


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