Fitbit is trying to drum up its appeal to video gamers by adding in-game rewards for those who use its wearable. The fitness tracking company has announced an integration with the game NBA 2K17, which enables gamers to receive a small in-game boost to their MyPlayer — a custom character — if they meet Fitbit’s 10,000 steps goal for the day.
Dallas Maverick and Fitbit ambassador Harrison Barnes said that the integration gives him an “extra incentive” to meet his target steps due to the additional gaming edge he gets as a result. It’s worth noting, however, that Barnes belongs to the camp of individuals who will probably meet their target with or without game integration. Although the announcement sets an interesting precedent to gamify exercise and merge physical activities with the gaming world, the NBA 2K17 / Fitbit partnership may not provide enough rewards for devoted NBA 2K17 players to start tracking their steps, unless it’s something they are already doing.
The partnership is the first integration between a wearable tracker and a console video game, though it builds on an existing trend of fitness device makers partnering with other companies in a bid to attract more users. Fitbit has a corporate wellness service that sees it partnering with Fortune 500 companies, and it has also worked with health insurers such as Anthem and Premera Blue Cross that use its products in certain condition care programs.
The integration will be enabled for users on November 25th, just in time for the holiday season.
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