L’video game industry was born from a theft. Nolan Bushnell launched Atari’s first coin-op, Space War, by copying Spacewar! by Steve Russell. Then he created Pong by stealing the idea from Ralph Baer, after seeing a prototype at a Magnavox conference (also confirmed in court). Launched Pong and achieved success, dozens of other producers appeared on the scene and launched their … Pong, in defiance of Atari.
Every videogame success from the birth of the industry onwards has been copied over and over again: games with characters who eat or take objects in mazes filled the world after Pac-Man (in the early 80s no console was launched without a Pac -Man, to say). Space Invaders inspired countless imitators. Super Mario Bros. made platform games sexy and so on to the present day, where Sony launched its user loyalty program, called PlayStation Starswhich immediately reminded many of Microsoft’s Rewards program, similar in concept, although very different in practice.
In both cases, however, we are talking about activities and rewards whose purpose is to build user loyalty towards a certain brand, stuff that was certainly not invented by the world of video games, but which obviously someone has also considered necessary to import from our parts. Microsoft? No, Nintendo, which has had well-established loyalty programs for years, so if you like, this time it’s the others who have looked at Mario’s house. Probably going back in time we would also discover other similar initiatives … but who cares?
The richest actors in the videogame industry look at each other, smell each other, sometimes they pretend to growl at each other, often mate trying to give as little attention as possible and in any case copy without too many problems, because in the end what interests him is to invest in something that works in terms of return (economic, image, whatever you want). Focusing on products (in a broad sense) already tested by others is always convenient and saves you the risk of having to act as a guinea pig for the entire industry. Which then, ultimately, is a way of giving your audience something that has already proved agreeable to others, so it makes sense to do so.