Profitability, Xfac and Gamification
The Umbra update ends with "we need your help as we explore ways to make Ingress more sustainable, and we need your help now." The implication of this is that somewhere on a spreadsheet in Niantic HQ is a number, the number of dollars this game needs to make per month to keep going, and it currently isn't doing that.
We already have threads on this forum for ideas about how to reach that number, and threads about the ethics of that number not reflecting the value of building other games from the POI database Ingress generates, etc. but I'd like start a discussion on a slightly different theme - gamification.
We're all looking at this as a cross-faction issue outside the game. Maybe there is value and opportunity in looking at how this could become an in-game factional competition?
While Niantic probably can't reveal that spreadsheet number to us for all sorts of business reasons, perhaps they could reveal a factional breakdown of income, and turn that into a competition? If there's one thing this playerbase is really good at it's competing with the other faction, so why not gamifiy the sustainability number?
Perhaps we could race to reach that sustainability number each month, and be given some factional reward for contributing the most to getting there?
Perhaps this could be part of the storyline too - funding withdrawn from XM investigations leads to researchers from each faction needing funds to continue their work, racing to discover new technology?
Perhaps we could be set stretch goals for defined rewards like 'exceed the sustainability number by our hidden target for 3 consecutive months and we'll hire a team to work on a [redacted] skin for Prime.'
Perhaps the winning team gets new features first?
Perhaps... lots of other things?
There would of course be good and bad ways to gamify sustainability, positives and negatives to doing it, and I've only scratched the surface of it in this post, so I'm starting this thread for discussing it. Over to you...