Investment gamification

5 newspapers turn to gamification to boost reader engagement

5 newspapers turn to gamification to boost reader engagement
Norkon Team
October 20, 2023

This autumn proved to be a dynamic season for Norkon, marked by the deployment of multiple stock market investment games to five prominent European newspapers who leveraged gamification in their media strategy to increase reader engagement. 

The publishers who implemented this approach are:

  1. Dagens Næringsliv (Norway)
  2. Dagbladet Børsen (Denmark)
  3. Dagens industri & Privat Affärer (Sweden)
  4. Finanz und Wirtschaft (Switzerland)
  5. Kauppalehti (Finland)

An interesting fact is that while all these newspapers offered the same, white-labeled Fantasy Funds stock market game to their audiences, each game was distinctly customized to meet the individual publications’ needs and requirements.

Let’s have a closer look at the different media strategies and their reader engagement approaches through the Fantasy Funds game.

The Name of the Game

If you’re not yet familiar with Fantasy Funds, here’s what this game is all about:

Fantasy Funds is an award-winning B2B stock market game that empowers newspapers to captivate and register a multitude of players on their websites. The game supports commercial partnerships for newspapers and provides a range of flexible options for converting users into loyal subscribers. For readers, Fantasy Funds offers an exceptional opportunity to acquire risk-free stock market investment skills, combined with incentives to return such as the prospect of winning prizes, ranking on leaderboards, or competing with friends and colleagues.

1. Dagens Næringsliv – Norway

Dagens Næringsliv (DN) has successfully hosted its Fantasy Funds games for several years. This immersive experience has become an integral component of DN’s reader engagement strategy, prompting DN to introduce to new elements in its 2023 game:

  • Compete against 7 national high-profiles
    DN invites players to compete against 7 national high-profile persons, who are all successful people in their occupational fields. Amongst them are a politician, a real estate owner, a former influencer, a luxury watch seller, and a hedgefund investor. Once a player has created his/her portfolio, (s)he can compare its performance with one of those profiles.
  • VIP exclusive leagues
    Another unique feature this year is DN’s creation of a “DN-league”, a league reserved for the newspapers’ subscribers only where players can compete for a 10,000kr (€1,000) grand price. Replicating this principle, DN has expanded this approach and created a handful of other leagues for exclusive participation in collaboration with key partners and sponsors. As such, several specific university leagues were created in association with these institutions to allow their students to participate and offer a fair chance to compete and win in their respective leagues.

DN Fantasy Funds 2023 preview

2. Dagbladet Børsen – Denmark

Similar to DN, Børsen has been running its Fantasy Funds games over several years. This autumn, Børsen implemented two new game features that other newspapers didn’t offer.

  • Subscribe to unlock the creation of a second portfolio
    Players have the option to create a second portfolio and increase their chances to win. This function is reserved for subscribers, prompting free players to convert to loyal subscribers.
  • The more, the merrier!
    Players are incentivised by creating a league or a player pool and inviting their friends and colleagues to join the game. The more players participate in the pool, the larger the pool prize which players can win. This is a great motivation to top into individuals’ networks and familiarize more users with the newspaper brand.

Borsen Fantasy Funds 2023 preview


3. Dagens industri & Privat Affärer – Sweden

For the first time, not one, but two newspaper brands have joined forces to co-host a Fantasy Funds game. Both newspapers, under the ownership of Sweden’s Bonnier AB, have come together to introduce their respective readers to one another. Dagens industri offers comprehensive coverage of general business and finance news, while Privat Affärer specializes in in-depth financial analysis and focuses on stock investment, savings, retirement planning and related topics. 

This unique media partnership creates bridges between the diverse realms of finance reporting, leveraging in-house resource by sharing and builidng out respective networks in a period where the industry is undergoing difficult times.

Dagens industri Fantasy Funds 2023 preview

4. Finanz und Wirtschaft – Switzerland

For the first time, Finanz und Wirtschaft (FuW) has introduced a stock market investment game such as Fantasy Funds. With a pre-launch period of two weeks ahead of the official game start date, the newspaper already registered 12,731 players by the second competition day. FuW implemented successfully-proven strategies such as allowing users to compete and compare their portfolios against national high-profile players. What truely stood out from FuW’s game were:

  • Great registration page
    FuW scored high on a great design and informative registration page. The page included a full overview and comprehensive details about the game, which made it very easy for users to get motivated and join the game.
  • Prize page
    Similarly, the award page benefited from a clear design and offered a detailed overview of the weekly prices and grand price to be won, while highlighting sponsoring partners.

Finanz und Wirtschaft Fantasy Funds 2023 preview

5. Kauppalehti – Finland

After a first successful game, Finland’s business newspaper Kauppalehti launched its second game this autumn and offered players the possibility to invest into US stocks as well, making the investment game even more appealing for Finnish investors.

Another feature worth highlighting are badges, which are an efficient way to recognize players’ performance while maintaining a high motivation to return to the game. Users are able to unlock badges which also reward players with points. A badge for “beat the market” implies that the player has outperformed the average return of all stocks in the game over the past week, while the badge “Top 1%” stands for one of the player’s portfolios ranking in the top 1% for the day. While some of the above listed newspapers also included badges, not all of them chose to do so.

KL Fantasy Funds 2023 preview

In conclusion

Gamification proves to be an efficient and innovative strategy for news publishers. As seen in the above examples, there are many ways to go about enhancing reader engagement in a game and foster partnerships between brands, such the collaboration between Dagens industri and Privat Affärer in Sweden. 

Fantasy Funds specifically serves as a powerful tool for introducing new readers to the various facets of financial news and analysis. The game not only attracts a large audience but also retains them through competitive elements, driving user registration and subscriptions, while offering a unique and educational experience for readers.

If you’re interested in running your own Fantasy Funds game, reach out to our team to schedule a demo.

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