Keeping it Simple isn’t Stupid

We look at why SIMPLE games are more successful than complex games. Keep it simple, stupid.

The Freeze has some competition, this time from Japan.

The Yokohama DeNA BayStars is a professional baseball team in the Central League of Nippon Professional Baseball, founded in 1950 as the Taiyo Whales. The team has been based at Yokohama Stadium, commonly known as “Hamasuta,” since 1978, and took its current name in 2012.  The also have a performance team called “diana” who are at games to liven up the atmosphere.

The teams hosts the “’47 DASHMAN RACE”, which is a popular event that has been held at Zozo Marine.  A speedy sprinter character called “DASHMAN” competes against a challenger representing the fans in a dash race. In two select games this year, DASHMAN will face off against Diana in a special friendly match.

What’s fun here (aside from the race) is how clear this whole race concept is.  Keep things simple whenever you can.  Spend less time explaining what the rules are and what’s going to happen and get to the fun.  It’s a great reminder that SIMPLE IS GOOD.

Take a look at your games, contests and promotions and look to see if you can make them more simple.  Will a young fan understand, will you understand if you don’t speak the language?  It’s an extreme test, but a good measure of simplicity.

Games that are simple and fun benefit in these ways:

  • Accessibility: Simple games and contests are accessible to a wider audience. When the rules and mechanics are easy to grasp, more people can participate, regardless of their age, background, or experience level. This inclusivity helps to build a larger and more diverse player base.
  • Higher Engagement: Simplicity often leads to higher engagement. Players are more likely to stay interested and continue playing if they can quickly understand how to play and start having fun immediately. Complex rules can be a barrier, causing frustration and disengagement.
  • Faster Learning Curve: Games that are easy to learn encourage players to try them out without feeling intimidated. A quick learning curve allows players to spend more time enjoying the game rather than trying to figure out how to play it.
  • Immediate Gratification: Simple games often provide immediate rewards or gratification, which can be satisfying and motivating for players. This helps in maintaining their interest and encouraging repeated play.
  • More Memorable: Games with simple rules are easier to remember, which means players can come back to them after a break without having to relearn everything. This contributes to long-term popularity and player retention.
  • More Social: Simple games are often more social. They can be explained quickly to new players in a social setting, making them ideal for gatherings and parties. This social aspect can enhance the enjoyment and appeal of the game.
  • Marketability: From a business perspective, simple games are easier to market. They can be described succinctly in advertisements and are more likely to attract interest quickly. This can be crucial for capturing the attention of potential players in a crowded market.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: Simple games can often be adapted or expanded more easily than complex ones. They can serve as a foundation for additional rules or variations, making them versatile for different contexts and player preferences.
  • Universal Appeal: Simple games can transcend cultural and language barriers more effectively. Their straightforward nature makes them understandable and enjoyable for people from different parts of the world, promoting a universal appeal.

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