How much of the player analytics effort that is invested by the games industry ends up as actionable findings? And how much ends up with the comment ‘So what?’
Turning analytics into directly actionable findings is a question of focus. Analytics has to deliver actions which are about changing the game design, monetization loops, social loops or the individual player experience. As the games industry moves from a ‘game’ perspective to a ‘player’ perspective, there will be a number of different mechanisms that can be employed to give players a personalised experience of playing the game.
We already know that there are very different playing styles and player types.
- Early Enthusiast – consumes all the features at every level, and is a experienced player who will gain resources through grind initially and then make considered purchases at higher levels.
- Confident Completer – is very focused on completing the game and moves quickly through the levels
- Social Involver – likes the social aspects of the game and has a high number of social connections and gifting networks
- Losing Momentum – has been previously engaged with the game but whose playing pattern is becoming more sporadic
- Needing Guidance – is likely to leave the game as frustration builds.
Each of these playing types demand a different treatment and successful games will be able to react to how the players are playing the game.
There are a number of ways to achieve this:
- When a Losing Momentum player reaches a certain area the game mechanic could allow more ‘pick ups’ for certain players allowing them to progress more easily.
- A player Needing Guidance could have his own avatar to give hints and tips to encourage engagement.
- A contact strategy could be developed around a Social Involver that recognises the influence they have over their friends. This player requires special nurturing as their social network is so wide.
- Predictive models could be built to understand the likelihood of early enthusiasts turning into paying players; and at what stage of their game playing lifecycle they are most likely to convert. In-game messages could then be delivered to encourage conversion via offers or discounts.
As players become more sophisticated games need to adapt in response. Personalised game playing experiences increase retention and revenues for games and the industry will continue to find ways to engaging players on an individual basis.