Modern games are literally loaded with big data. And it doesn’t really matter what kind of games you’re thinking of. For instance, Quantum Break requires as much as 178GB of disk space to get it running! And there’s the mobile gaming industry. With mobile payments, updates, additional features, and configuration, mobile games are a textbook example of big data in action. And this is what we want to talk about today. How is big data used in the modern mobile gaming industry?
What kind of big data are we talking about here?
For starters, let’s talk about the types of information mobile games gather and process. We can indicate two significant data sources:
- Big data ABOUT the game (here, we have all kinds of statistics, for example, what times of the day are popular when it comes to specific target groups of players)
- Big data coming FROM the game (here, we can indicate types of features players are using, additional equipment they’re purchasing, and so on)
The Use of Big Data in the Mobile Gaming Industry
The list of information gathered by mobile gaming companies is very long. After all, they need to know as much as possible in order to improve their products. Therefore, they gather whatever is possible regarding UX, gameplay, purchases (micropayments in the gaming industry are becoming prevalent), and the players’ demographic characteristics. We could even say that everything in each player’s lifecycle is a target for mobile gaming companies to process big data.
What do mobile gaming companies use big data for?
In short, to make their games even better, obviously. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to carry out the revolution each time you find out something new. Much more frequently, these changes are small, almost invisible. The idea is to improve gameplay without alerting players or telling them to learn something new. You have to remember that even small improvements, when scaled to millions of users, result in significant revenue increases. But there’s more.
Mobile gaming companies have to monitor user engagement constantly. For example, it could turn out that many players abandon the specific game after just one or two levels. This automatically raises the question, why? Possibly, that’s because the game is too easy or too complicated. In both ways, quick and decisive action is necessary. Moreover, big data can be used to find potential bottlenecks or glitches in the game. If, at some specific point, players stop using the game or the activity drastically goes down, this means that you ought to take a closer look at this part of the gameplay.
The general idea behind big data in the mobile gaming industry is to keep players happy. A happy player is an engaged player. With data coming from the gameplay and users, mobile gaming companies can:
- Plan future development, as well as new titles that should be released
- Address potential weak points
- Improve what’s already working well
- Make the game even more engaging
HOW CAN YOU MEASURE USERS’ ENGAGEMENT?
There are some specific tools that can be used to measure user engagement. First of all, you need to have your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) in place. If you know what your KPIs are, what do you want to achieve, start thinking about how to get there and measure your efforts. Next, you need to have your users segmented into specific demographic groups.
Two of the most popular tools to measure users’ engagement are:
- Customer churn analysis: Shortly put, it’s an evaluation of a game’s user loss rate. The number of canceled subscriptions, uninstallations, and inactive users is used to calculate the customer churn rate (a percentage value calculated by dividing the number of players who departed your game in a given month by their initial number)
- Interaction analysis: Mobile gaming companies constantly monitor and analyze customer activity. What are these players doing, are they reaching new levels, are they purchasing additional equipment, etc.
With all that information, you can much more easily plan the development of your game and future updates to make it even more playable. And that’s the whole reason why mobile gaming companies use big data so extensively.
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