Default Prime


QR Codes for Gaming Applications


QR codes are generating more and more buzz in recent months as new and innovative ways are being found to use them. Developed as an alternative to traditional bar codes, QR codes are two-dimensional matrix barcodes that can be read by bar code scanners as well as mobile phones, and can be used to store a wide range of data including URLs to websites, text, and other data. While they were originally created to track auto parts and other inventory, QR codes are being adopted by a variety of industries (including game developers and top online casino sites) to both advertise games and include additional content.

Game developer THQ has been at the forefront of using QR codes in games for platforms including PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii and DS. Its Homefront first-person shooter game has ten QR codes hidden throughout the game; once scanned the codes take users to extra bonus video content that provides extra background to the plot and storyline of the game. One unique aspect of THQ’s use of QR codes is that there are no real clues or signs that they’re in the game, giving players the added excitement of stumbling across cool hidden content entirely on their own.

QR codes have also been used by online gaming sites but in areas more closely tied to traditional advertising and marketing efforts. Like other Web-based businesses, online sites have struggled in the past to effectively market their online slot machines and other games in mediums such as magazines and newspapers, as any ad requires a user to log on and manually type in the URL of the site. QR codes are being used to eliminate much of that work, especially with more and more people owning smartphones that can scan QR codes.

Once a reader scans the QR code, any Web page can be automatically displayed in their mobile browser, which lets online sites direct them to any page of their choosing. This could be directly to their signup page, to a special promotion available only to readers who scanned the QR code, or any other URL of their choosing. More and more online gaming sites are integrating QR codes into their marketing, as it’s not only a great way to get more potential players online but it also lets them test and evaluate print-based marketing campaigns and immediately see how effective they are.

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