4th January 2013, London: predictive analytics specialist GamesAnalytics, looks ahead and recommends five resolutions which every free-2-play Games Developer and Publisher should be making to ensure a successful and prosperous New Year.
2012 was the year everyone started talking about games as a service not a product, Engagement and Big Data became common currency hot on the heels of Monetization and Whales.
But with the majority of F2P games not making any money and over 60% of players not making it back after the first session, there is still a way to go to convert all this data into actionable player insight that creates great experiences for gamers.
Indeed to make the shift from a product-focused industry to player-centric service, 2013 will need to ring in some significant changes in developer behaviour if we are to capture the real value in understanding player behaviours. To help make this change, GamesAnalytics suggests the following New Year’s Resolutions:
I will try to be a better listener – If a player is unhappy with your game, the chances are you’ll never know why – they’ll just leave. Publishers and Developers now have the ability to listen to player experiences through analytics, enabling them to create more responsive and engaging games and increase revenue in the range 20-40%. By understanding the different triggers of defection in Beta, the leaky bucket can be plugged before you spend expensive acquisition budget and watch all your hard-raised cash go down the plughole.
No more one night stands – Players are for life and not just for Christmas. However many publishers are often only focused on customer acquisition. Publishers need to move away from a ‘one night stand’ approach and develop long term relationships with players. Just like in life you have to work at relationships and can’t assume that once in the door no more effort is required. Flowers and flattery, or perhaps better incentives, tutorials, rewards will help retention and conversion to purchase
Kick the dashboard addiction – analysing 60 dashboards a day is a little bit like a 60-a-day smoking habit – you don’t know why you are doing it but struggle to give it up. Dashboards are great, but only if you know what you’re looking for and only if you are collecting the right information in the first place. How do you measure improvement? How do you link cause and effect? Most importantly what are you going to do about it? Actionable insights are key to unlocking success in 2013.
My motto for 2013: “one size doesn’t fit all” – The explosion of social media and mobile platforms, alongside the rise of the free-2-play model has opened games up to a diverse new audience. Publishers and developers need to respond to this by creating player experiences that resonate with very different player behaviours. The playing population does not fit one profile so let’s make our games from the standpoint that 40% will be inexperienced gamers and 15% will be experts. The one size fits all mentality is outmoded and leads to retention rates that are twice as high as they should be.
I will put my players first - No one is arguing that game design isn’t the work of gods and creative geniuses. However analytics is not the devil child. Adding event collection tags needs to be embraced and not, at best, tolerated. This is a vital part of the development process. In 2013 repeat everyday “I will put my players first”. Learn about them, listen to them and adapt the gaming experience.
Mark Robinson, COO, GamesAnalytics, commented: “The games industry continues to evolve and is going through a period of transition right now, where often ingrained cultures and attitudes are being challenged by the advent of new platforms and business models.
“At the start of a new year, we all want to take a step back and figure out how to do things better. Analytics has been a buzz word throughout 2012 but this year publishers and developers need to look even harder at where they are investing and ensure a player-centric approach is at the heart of the way games are built. Our light-hearted New Year’s resolutions have a serious message – change the game, because oftentimes we are learning the hard way through unsustainable retention rates and players, quite rightly, are not patient.”
and 505 Games have selected GamesAnalytics to support player behavioural
analytics for an innovative new trading game product launching on Facebook. The
goal is to use analytics from day one to identify key monetization and
defection triggers. We are feeding back the results into game design and
development as we build up complex profiles of the social and collecting
behaviours across the user base."
Roy Zinsenheim, Game Service IT