3 Big Benefits of Big Data in Gaming

3 Big Benefits of Big Data in Gaming

According to VentureBeat, sales for video games dipped by 2 percent in 2013. The decline is somewhat surprising considering that Microsoft and Sony respectively launched their X Box One and PlayStation 4 consoles to much fanfare last fall. While nothing can stop the video game machine at this point, it can be improved, and big data may be the answer.

Responsible for mounds of data in multiple formats and a plethora of mission-critical decisions, the gaming industry is a perfect candidate for big data. Following are three big ways the market can benefit from full scale adoption.

1. Better Gaming Experience

The gaming universe is comprised of tons of data. There’s customer information collected at the point of sale, feedback submitted through social media, and numerous activities tracked across online game platforms. This information offers value to both individual developers and game network operators like Sony. For example, by analyzing things such as when gamers hop into online tournaments, how long they play, and who they compete against, operators and developers can customize a gaming experience that matches individual gamer preferences.

2. Higher Gamer Engagement

User interaction is a make or break deal in the gaming world. Sales will eventually plummet if word gets out that certain games have little to no replay value. Leveraging the analytics end of big data, engagement levels can be identified and addressed accordingly. If analysis on the latest fighting game reveals that several players are quitting after reaching the third boss, it could signal that the boss character is too powerful. In this scenario, toning down the character’s power level would be a smart way to keep engagement levels high and encourage players to push on.

3. Increased In-Game Revenue

Video game companies are making money beyond the initial sale at the register, and in-game products represent one of their most promising revenue drivers. A perfect example is Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto 5, which lets players make “microtransactions” to buy items for use in the game. Big data can improve the targeting efficiency of this concept, and help increase sales in the process. Developers can bolster upselling opportunities by offering in-game items that would help players advance faster, and accelerate cross-selling by offering products based on the similar purchases of other gamers.

A Revolution on the Horizon

Big data is not only showing promise on the gaming front, it’s paying off in results. By combining Microsoft’s cloud and analytics platforms, the Halo 4 team was able to increase storage scalability and optimize online tournament play for the popular first-person shooter. Ubisoft used Amazon Web Services to not only scale storage, but gain access to innovative tools that allowed it to analyze vast amounts of data and quickly develop a slate of games from the cloud.

Game development firms are tasked with processing massive volumes of data. With improvements in user experience, engagement, and revenue up for grabs, it’s only a matter of time before the gaming industry as a whole levels up to the technologies and strategies needed to use it effectively.

3 Big Benefits of Big Data in Gaming

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