How to Use Data Analytics in PC Gaming

Analytics are a powerful tool that drive the decision making process fundamental in daily operations for gaming studios. The right analytics solution can be the driving force behind achieving KPI targets for a new game. 

When implementing an analytics solution, gaming studios have two routes to choose from.

  1. Create an in-house analytics tool. This can be customized for the specific needs of a game, and data is never shared externally. Companies will need to allocate resources to developing and maintaining an in-house solution, which can be an expensive endeavor.
  2. Use an external solution such as Google Analytics, Flurry or HypeInsights by HypeGamer. Such solutions offer “freemium” models for studios with limited resources. These companies provide an SDK that can be downloaded and connected for real time insights across hundreds of metrics. Hypeinsights allows for extensive game data visualization, customized reporting and out of the box KPI tracking.

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When fine tuning a data analytics solution, teams will consider the metrics that key decision makers will use. The needs of developers, designers and high level executives should be considered.

Analytics for Game Developers

The data required for developers throughout the game creation process is extensive. User experience development will show developers where players get stuck and are more likely to quit. Developers can take this info to refine player experiences or introduce IAPs to monetize friction points within the game. 

Game developers will also use analytics for quality assurance. Game play data simplifies bug detection, allowing game studios to release AAA titles with fewer bumps during roll out.

Finally, developers will look to analytics for testing mechanics and identifiying optimal points of purchase within the gamepaly.

Analytics for Game Designers

Many designers will agree that they do not want every aspect of game design to be data driven. Instead, analytics can be used to make sense of how players are responding to design aspects.

Often times a high level metric may signal potential issues in game design. Designers can then pull from data to ascertain which design changes may resolve these issues.

Analytics for Game Executives

Executives often monitor high level KPIs and use these metrics to help direct developers, designers and marketing teams within their organization. These metrics are also imperative in effective communication with outside stakeholders, such as investors. An investor in search of a solid ROI will want to see player retention and ARPDAU. These metrics are often critical to landing investments.