A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

The marriage of retail and app economy

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ImageFor some time now the big problem for many traditional retail chains has been consumer exodus to immaterial goods and services. The app revolution, ushered forward by the likes of Apple and Google, has driven traditional retailers to seek answers from the hybrid economy.

The app revolution has widely captured the imagination of younger consumers eager to spend their play time on the countless free or nearly free gaming apps and app toys. “Until now, traditional retailers or brick-and-mortars have been unable to tap into this huge growing market. They’ve been left out of the app party”, Mike Gonzales, creative director and digital brand manager for WowWee, says. Now however, hybrid products that both feature an enticing app and need a physical component to in order to work provide retailers “an opportunity to take a bite out of the ‘app’ pie”, as Gonzales puts it. WowWee’s AppGear products are sold at retail with price points of roughly 9,99€ up to 19.99€, with the apps to run them offered as a free download. The emergence of hybrid products, then, can be seen representing a compromising marriage of the traditional retail business and the newer app economy.


Author: Heikki Tyni

Heikki Tyni is a researcher at Tampere University Game Research Lab. His work concentrates on the game industry, and specifically on game production studies.

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