The Gaming industry, which is a product of technological innovation has evolved into being in the top entertainment category. Gaming is unique because of its ‘inclusive’ nature, as there is a game for every individual on earth. Passionate gamers or e-sports athletes are striving to outplay their opponents in the virtual world.
According to a recent Accenture report, the value of the gaming industry currently exceeds $300 billion, more than the combined markets for movies and music. Gaming platforms are also becoming all about experience, a shift from being product-oriented. Understanding gamers’ requirements and preferences is the key to generate revenues for gaming companies.
The Covid-19 pandemic also has had a positive impact on the growth of the gaming industry, by driving it to higher levels. Rising demand for entertainment due to lockdowns with people confined to their homes has helped in boosting the industry’s development and is expected to continue with rising demand for games in the post-pandemic era as well. Furthermore, the gaming industry continues to evolve too as a cultural force, by bringing people from different backgrounds and belief systems, together. It has begun to influence the way gamers connect, communicate and interact with each other on newer levels.
Getting into the minds of gamers
All industries, including gaming are constantly working towards enhancing the customer experience to remain ahead of the curve. The gaming service providers focus on increasing and retaining their customers with effective engagement strategies. Understanding the behaviour pattern of customers and the effectiveness of gaming experiences are critical to attract new players and retain old gamers. This can be accomplished by implementing Big Data and Analytics solution, which is now becoming a ‘game changer’.
Predictive analytics can be used to create a personalized experience and provide better UI/UX, leading to gamers spending more time on the games. Games can be re-designed and upgraded to suit gamers needs as well, with the support of data analytics, by providing the tools to build interesting and complex scenarios that appeal to the gamers.
Boosting revenues for gaming companies
Big Data is leveraged in the gaming industry for monetization. Game-creation companies have to ensure their games work with players, and have to keep them updated to guarantee constant revenues. Both, in-app purchases and in-app advertisements are critical revenue streams for gaming companies. The ‘freemium’ model gaming companies adopt, provides the app free to use for gamers but charges them for additional features through in-app purchases. Behavioral analytics helps in identifying and capturing the interest of target segment of gamers with relevant advertising content and placements.
Providing the right fit with products required by users will drive these gamers to buy products. Big Data algorithms help with personalized selling and targeted advertisements for gamers. Gaming companies are customizing their offers by analyzing the huge amount of data and logs generated while players are engaged in the game.
Using analytics, deep insights can be generated form the data of gamers across changing demographics, such as, age-group, gender and race. Other measurable KPIs for gamers, like the daily and monthly active users and average revenue per user can be extracted and dynamics driving these trends can be understood with data analytics platforms.
Big Data and Analytics rely on cloud computing power for huge volumes of data analysis. Gaming firms can leverage AWS Big Data Services to make data available in near-real time for analytics.
Some use cases of Big Data in gaming, e.g., ifa customer has created a team for an upcoming virtual game, but has not joined a contest, a discount offer can be made to the gamer, based on the individual’s current playing level. Campaigns can be auto triggered for customers who have created a team for a match but have not joined any league based on advanced data filters.
Big Data Solutions can also be leveraged for fraud detection and prevention of user agreement violations, based on location, device and frequency of user logins and other determinants. Payment issues can be detected much sooner. Other benefits with the deployment of the solution include, Improved RoI, Content Planning and Improvement, Customer segmentation for a personalized experience and identification of popularity of games for better decision making.
Technology giants, such as Microsoft, have identified the value of data and are in the process of acquiring gaming companies for the latter’s storehouse of ‘data’ or the ‘new gold’. Data can be valuable only when it is analyzed and acted upon to be monetized. Big Data Analytics solution can be leveraged by gaming companies to analyze real-time data for better action on critical business decisions that engage players more effectively.
Based on the insights, service providers can conceptualize valuable business strategy, chalk marketing campaigns and make business decisions that improve revenues. This leads to improving RoI and customer experience, in addition to increasing the pace of innovation and time-to-market.
Establishing a data-driven culture is equally crucial for gaming companies to get optimum mileage from data analytics. Collecting data from different sources and streamlining it before analyzing is an important step too! A robust data infrastructure is crucial to build a robust gaming analytics strategy and its effective implementation.
(The author Nishant Sharma is CTO at Umbrella Infocare and the views expressed in this article are his own)