Leaderboards are as old as we can remember and apparently they have always been there with us. Lately, they’re not as mandatory as they used back in the days of arcade parlors. Single player-ish nature of many of modern-day games simply denies the need for the competitive nature of leaderboard’s. But it’s not really like that, as it?
Certain games like “Hitmen: Absolution” did a really good job implementing the leaderboards system in their otherwise single player game. Having leaderboard around does quite a couple of things to enhance your experience, for example:
- Feeling of not being alone in the game world
- Encouraging you to get better and better
- Trying to score higher than your friends
- Allow for multiple play-throughs
- Making the game enjoyable for extended period of time
Believe it or not sense of accomplishment is important for many players. Knowing that your score will be tracked and seen by other players adds something new to the game. You’re not only playing for your own entertainment, you’re also competing against players who are also playing their game.
This alone motivates many people to get better at what they’re doing. When you have a direct indication in form of score in every action you do is valued accordingly, bragging simply won’t cut it. You’re motivated and challenged to perform better, finish the task at hand faster and you are constantly thinking outside of the box looking for new, more efficient and effective ways to complete your goals.
Playing against people you actually know in your real life is even better. Nothing quite like some old-fashioned bragging how you’ve managed to beat every single one of their scores and are now ranked #1 on your friends list. For many people this is much more significant and important than reaching top spot on global leaderboards.
Now, rare are those records that are beaten during your first try. You are most likely to repeat certain levels or challenges for quite a number of times before you even get close to topping that score. This way you will spend significantly more time enjoying challenges that you would normally just play through for a single time before moving on. Having the competitive element present within your game makes it more interesting for you to retry that single challenge until you can score no higher score than you already have, and that is only until somebody beats your score improves that there is in fact a better way to do it. This only motivates you to try it once more and find an even better solution for the current problem in top the high scores once again.
Having all the aspects of leaderboard’s present in single player game tremendously increases its potential in replayability. Games that would offer only for around 10 hours of fun are actually giving you dozen more all of a sudden simply because leaderboards. Communities are established and competitive events are often held where people try to best another. All this makes the game enjoyment last much longer and actually prolongs the life of the game itself, and that is exactly why we love leaderboard’s.