LinkedIn wants to add games

Attention all you jobseekers and headhunters out there: Invest in a headset, a gaming chair, and a whole bunch of Mountain Dew Code Red — because LinkedIn is for gamers now. 

What happened: LinkedIn confirmed that it has begun working on games for the platform in a bid to get users to spend more time "networking." Per one app researcher, the games will have a system where companies are ranked by how well their employees do. 

  • Perhaps the ranking system could have an ulterior motive besides being a point of corporate pride — like a tool companies can use to root out slackers (imagine?).
  • There aren’t many details yet on what the games will be like besides the fact they are “puzzle-based” and have cool names like “Queens,” “Inference,” and “Crossclimb.”

Why it’s happening: LinkedIn isn’t just a place to brag about achieving SOC 2 compliance anymore. It now draws in billions in revenue by adding diverse offerings like its learning platform and production tools. Adding games is the next step in boosting monetization. 

Why it matters: LinkedIn’s move is another sign that we live in the golden age of digital word games. As platforms fight for traffic and the revenue that comes with it, nothing gets eyes fixed on screens like li’l puzzles — why do you think we have the mini-crossword?

Big picture: For the chief example of how word games are reshaping business models, look at The New York Times. It reached 10 million subscribers last year thanks in no small part to its suite of games like Wordle and Connections. This month, it unveiled a new one: Strands

Bottom line: LinkedIn clearly took notice of the NYT’s success, as have other publishers. Hearst Communications — owner of outlets ranging from Cosmopolitan to the San Francisco Chronicle — acquired daily puzzle site Puzzmo in December with plans to license games to other websites.—QH