Going by the 2018 Global Games Market Report, online gamers are projected to spend nearly $152 billion in the year 2019 (up from $138 billion in the year 2018). According to Filmora, there are an estimated 2.341 billion online gamers across the globe that is projected to grow to 2.725 billion gamers by the year 2021.
The Global Games Market Report also reports that mobile gaming is the fastest-growing segment (with generated revenues of $70 billion in 2018) followed by console-based gaming that generated $34.6 billion in the year 2018.
For the success of any online gaming company, effective data analytics is so crucial for attracting and retaining gamers to its online games. Hence for any game developer, designing a game performance dashboard that can track the performance of any game is a very critical element in its success.
Through this article, we shall evaluate the importance of data analytics for the growing and highly competitive gaming industry. Besides that, we shall see how a game performance analysis dashboard can work in improving player retention and engagement.
The Importance of Data Analytics to the Gaming Industry
Why is it important to perform data or gaming analytics? Online gaming companies who adopt gaming analytics are able to improve their gaming design (according to user preferences) and attract more gamers to play their games.
Here are some of the benefits of using data analytics in the gaming domain:
Game design and development
Be it through the design or functionality, online games are aimed at keeping the players involved and engaged with the game. Data-Driven game design is effective in engaging any gamer at specific levels in the game. The use of game analytics metrics can be used to identify game optimization points and improve the overall gaming model.
The Profitability Factor
For any gaming company, the success of a new game is measured by its generated sales and earned revenues. Effective game data tracking and analytics can be used to analyze user behavior based on whether they are likely to play the game repeatedly or even pay for the services.
Personalized marketing in gaming
In today’s online world, personalized or targeted marketing has proven to be more effective than advertisements. Through insights gained from real-time game analysis dashboards, gaming companies and marketing companies can deliver the right marketing message to the targeted gamer based on their personal interests and choices.
Personalized marketing can increase player engagement as well as attract new players to the game.
Online fraud prevention
Gaming companies often face the consequences of online fraudulent activity such as player identify thefts and payment-related frauds. Gaming analytics can be used to verify player identity and detect any fraudulent activity at an early stage. Besides this, computer algorithms based on machine learning can be applied for online fraud detection and prevention.
A Game performance dashboard is a vital tool needed to achieve the above-listed benefits. In the next few sections, we shall see how a game performance analysis dashboard works along with the best game analytics metrics to use.
Dashboards are the heart and soul of any game analysis and are critical for identifying any recurrent problem or for elevating the game performance. Thanks to data visualization techniques, dashboards are easily accessible for most users and can be deployed in tracking online player data.
Also referred to as a game performance dashboard, a game performance analysis dashboard is one such gaming dashboard that determines the key metrics and KPIs to be tracked for any gaming company. Some of the common KPIs that are tracked across all games include:
- The number of active players who log into the game every day, which indicates player retention.
- The length or duration of the game session that indicates user engagement
- The number of new players who have signed up, which indicates customer acquisition.
- The overall rate of first-time game monetizers that indicates the average money that players spend through in-game purchases.
- The progression of gamers through the multiple levels, that indicates if most users are advancing to higher levels (or getting stuck at a particular level) and may necessitate a change in the game architecture.
Next, we shall look at some crucial game analytics metrics or KPIs that can improve player retention and engagement, along with game monetization.
5 Key Metrics that Should Be Part of Your Game Performance Analysis Dashboard
Here are 5 key game analytics metrics that should be part of your game performance dashboard:
Daily Active Users (or DAU)
Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU) are both key metrics that indicate the number of active players for your game. A higher DAU or MAU indicate higher user engagement. Additionally, the ratio of DAU versus MAU indicates how well the game can retain player interest.
New player acquisition is quite a challenging and expensive affair, hence it’s important that first-time players do not churn away immediately from the game. Hence, the retention rate metric is among the most crucial metrics in a player retention dashboard (particularly for free to play games). It indicates how well you have retained a player from Day 1 through to Day 7 and finally on Day 30.
This is a crucial gaming metric for game monetization. Short for Average Revenue Per Daily Active User, ARPDAU indicates the revenue any game is earning each day. Commonly used in analytics for mobile games, ARPDAU can be an effective tool in forecasting revenues and measuring the ROI of your game.
Gaming companies or developers can use the ARPDAU data to segment the paying users on basis of which games (or game genre) are generating the most revenues or which personal devices are they playing the game on.
This is another crucial gaming metric for measuring monetization. Conversion rate measures the percentage of unique players that have made a purchase to the total number of players in a specific time period. While repeat purchasers take a lion’s share of the generated revenue, encouraging a first-time purchase (in a free-to-play game) is a challenging task and very crucial for improving repeat purchases.
Conversion rate can indicate if your game is making good money and how many players are ready to pay for your game.
Average Session Time
Average session time or duration is among the important measuring analytics for PC games and mobile games. Be it for a first-time (or consequent) game session, the average session time is measured as the average time that every unique gamer spends playing a game session. Higher the average session time, more is the player engagement, thus more would be the rate of player retention.
Average Session Time metric can be used to gauge the bounce rate along with the number of times the same player keeps coming returning to the game each day.
As a gaming company, how can you make use of these key metrics in your game performance dashboard to improve player retention and monetization? Here are some key action points:
- Devise actionable insights by writing customized SQL queries on your gaming data.
- Understand how players are interacting with the game and devise game design improvements that can encourage higher player retention and engagement.
- Build a better gaming and pricing model for new (and existing) games that can work for better monetization.
- Develop game features and strategies through data-powered A/B Testing, which can work towards improving user engagement.
- Improve your game monetization model by targeting the right frequency of digital ads (during game sessions) and the right online channels for social media marketing.
- Perform accurate cohort analysis in gaming that can drive better strategies in player acquisition.
Download the Guide to Improve Player Retention
The use of gaming analytics and data visualization is playing an important role in the online gaming industry. With its expertise in cloud technology and data visualization, Countants is using gaming analytics to transform the role of data for its gaming customers.
Our technical expertise in deep learning technologies like AI and machine learning is further driving change in the online gaming industry.
Do you want to explore how a gaming performance dashboard can work for your business? Call us now. We look forward to working with you.