Online Multiplayer Games for Crowdsourcing the Development of Digital Assets

The Case of Ingress
  • Samuli Laato
  • Sonja M. HyrynsalmiEmail author
  • Mauri Paloheimo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 370)


Crowdsourcing has emerged as a cost-efficient solution for companies to resolve certain tasks requiring vast amounts of human input. In order to motivate participants to harness their best efforts for the crowdsourcing task, companies are gamifying or creating complete games around crowdsourcing problems. The location-based game Ingress integrated the development of a geographically distributed database of points of interest in its game design. Players submitted and later peer-reviewed PoI candidates for Niantic for free, who then used the crowdsourced database as backbone for such popular games as Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. This study analyzes the solution in Ingress from two main perspectives: (1) how the game motivates players to participate in the crowdsourcing tasks and (2) how crowdsourcing fits into the game creator Niantic’s revenue model. The results show that Ingress players are provided multi-layered motivation to participate in crowdsourcing. The crowdsourcing tasks influence the game world, but are not limited inside it, and can be used elsewhere. Adopting crowdsourcing as a business strategy has served Niantic well, making Niantic an international multi-billion dollar company. Therefore it is predicted that more online multiplayer games implementing crowdsourcing as a revenue stream are likely to emerge in the near future.


Crowdsourcing Revenue stream Location-based games Ingress 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuli Laato
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sonja M. Hyrynsalmi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mauri Paloheimo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Future TechnologiesUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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