Unlocking the Battle Pass: Broadening the Scope of Video Game Gamification

University essay from Malmö universitet/Fakulteten för teknik och samhälle (TS)

Abstract: While gamification has been extensively studied in specific fields, such as education and health, its application in other domains remains understudied. This thesis explores how battle passes, a common gamification system found in video games, are implemented and examines their potential challenges and limitations within and beyond video games. The study adopted a mixed-methods research approach, gathering qualitative and quantitative data through a survey designed to inquire battle pass users about how they use and are affected by the battle pass systems in Apex Legends, Destiny 2, Fortnite, Overwatch 2 and Valorant. The results indicate that gamers generally prefer completing the battle pass through passive generation of XP by playing the game. Challenges are still considered a fun addition to the battle pass system, although with varying levels of enjoyment. Gamers are motivated to complete even unenjoyable challenges to earn higher rewards, both highlighting the power of extrinsic motivators and the risks of implementing battle passes. It is important that companies implement battle passes responsibly, as these systems can be manipulative and exploitative. For example, entities implementing battle passes should consider that battle passes can cause exhaustion in users, and participation should as a consequence be optional. While the intentions of companies cannot be controlled, informing battle pass users about the potential negative impacts of battle passes can help them to protect themselves from exploitation. Overall, this study offers a foundation for future investigation into the effectiveness of gamification and battle passes.

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