Companion Gaming: Improving the Quality of Gaming Experiences through Interconnected Gameplay
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In recent years, video game publishers and developers such as Ubisoft, Bioware, Microsoft, Capcom, Wideload Games, and NeatherRealm have all attempted to increase brand engagement by means of increased interconnectivity between games of the same franchise, a form of gameplay called companion gaming. In 2011 Chris Early, one of the pioneers of companion gaming, set forth seven principles defining the qualities that exemplify companion game design. This study offers a history of companion gaming, an explanation for how companion gaming improves the quality of the gaming experience, and a modification and extension of the aforementioned principles. Through the use of an analysis of pre-existing companion games, user studies of said companion games, and interviews with industry professionals who have experience working on companion games, a determination of best practices in developing connected gameplay experiences is defined in the form of the “Companion Gaming Design Principles.” Along with the unification of existing knowledge on companion games pertaining to different techniques for designing connectivity, companion game/base game platform combinations, and examples of what has come before, these principles will enlighten developers and publishers wishing to create companion gaming experiences in the future by highlighting the most important aspects of companion game design and how each can affect the user’s experience.
Ross, Jacob (2013). Companion Gaming: Improving the Quality of Gaming Experiences through Interconnected Gameplay. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from