HSN is playing games with us.
Wednesday it launched what it called a “new platform (that) will allow people to play their favorite games online while simultaneously watching HSN streaming live in HD, viewing the item currently on-air and quickly shopping the last 15 items aired…all on one screen. In addition, HSN Arcade will integrate with Facebook to allow players to easily share their scores and achievements with their Facebook friends.”
HSN Arcade is an e-commerce channel that uses “gamification” — a new word on us– by connecting unique products with gameplay, including the Today’s Special.
Players can apparently win prizes, including the Today’s Special product or a gift card, by being the fastest to complete the daily “Today’s Special Jigsaw Puzzle” and receiving the best score. People will also be able to participate in tournaments with HSN’s celebrity guests, hosts and other players for the opportunity to win other prizes, such as gift cards and products. Winners can be revealed in real time on TV, online and mobile.
“The launch of HSN Arcade is a strategic move to further differentiate the HSN shopping experience…by combining what people currently do online more than any other activities: shopping, gaming and sharing,” Jill Braff, HSN’s executive vice president of digital commerce, said in a canned statement. “We are also excited to be using Facebook integration to allow players to post their achievements and their favorite HSN products seamlessly to their Facebook wall. Other sites have game arenas, but only HSN marries content and commerce in such an innovative way.”
The combination of shopping, social and gaming taps into customer behavior, HSN said in a press release Tuesday.
According to a Newzoo (say what?) survey, currently more than 140 million people play casual games online, which represents 66 percent of the U.S. online population.
“The addition of this platform to HSN’s highly trafficked site and loyal customer base will extend HSN.com as an online destination ” — or so the No. 2 home shopping network hopes. .
HSN Arcade will host 25 games, including the Today’s Special Jigsaw Puzzle and Lights! Camera! Subtraction! (featuring HSN’s celebrities), as well as Crossword Puzzles, Word Search, Mahjongg, Sudoku, Treasure Hunt, Blackjack and more. The games are free to play. The experience will be further enhanced with the ability to share games, leaderboard rankings, badges and scores with friends using Facebook integration.
HSN partnered with entertainment agency WME to help frame the gaming opportunity with external vendors and serve in a strategic role in evaluating proposals. Arkadium, a leading provider of game solutions, was selected to develop HSN Arcade. Additional games will be created and launched based on feedback and demand from people.