It’s truly incredible to imagine the endless innovation opportunities involving big data. One of the most interesting data-driven industries, in my opinion, is the online gaming industry. There are two billion gamers across the world, generating approximately 50 terabytes of data every single day. Having generated over $40.6 billion just last year, video games are a dripping resource for data analysts who are interested in utilizing big data to drive revenue and optimize customer experiences. Today, big data is providing video game developers with invaluable information and actionable insights regarding customer engagement, relevant advertising, and strong conversion rates.
These companies are tracking every move of every gamer, including play times, squad characteristics, success rates, popular maps, appearance preferences, etc. Video game developers use this behavioral data to improve their games in a variety of ways. For example, developers may want to make sure a game is challenging, but not so difficult that users become frustrated and quit playing. This innovation prevents unbalanced games, as nobody loves dying immediately after being revived without a single chance to attack the opposing team.
Bungie, a leader in the video game industry, successfully prevented the demise of their best product, Halo 3, through big data aggregation. As they were proactively analyzing the behavioral data of their first real players, they created a visual heat map of player death locations. In one particular spot on either side of a lake, they saw a huge area of straight red, and on the other side of the lake, nothing but gray. The geometry of the map was clearly unbalanced, providing an advantage to teams on one side of the lake. Bungie’s developers quickly resolved the issue, and Halo 3 went on to become the best selling video game of 2007 in the United States.
Not only is big data being used to improve gaming experiences, but also to create highly-personalized ads. Personalizing your advertising content is key to attracting new customers, and if users don’t feel appreciated or connected with your brand, they’re likely to bounce. For example, players who gravitate toward armor customization can be offered in-game armor enhancement offers, and mobile device players who link their social media accounts can be offered in-game bonuses to recruit their friends. Match this data with social media engagement, and you’ve got yourself a plethora of digestible trends and retargeting opportunities for video game companies everywhere.
Before big data was available, developers had to rely on sales numbers and direct feedback from players. Now, gaming organizations have real-time user intelligence and social listening to help them create and deliver optimal products.
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Mallon, S. (2017, July 6). How big data can boost the gaming industry. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from https://www.smartdatacollective.com/big-data-boost-gaming-industry/
Gutierrez, P. (n.d.). A Flood of Gaming Analytics Data With No End in Sightt. Retrieved February 13, 2019, from https://www.dataiku.com/solutions/industries/gaming/