The video gaming industry has come a long way since those early days of coin-ops and cumbersome consoles. Bringing in $20 billion a year in the U.S. alone, the gaming industry is exploding with no signs of slowing down. In fact, with the proliferation of online gaming—coupled with advances in Big Data analytics— the gaming industry is literally taking things to the next level.
Four Reasons Big Data is Booming in the Gaming Industry
Enhanced Customer Experience
Each and every day, the gaming population as a whole generates terabytes of information. This is due to the multiple platforms that exist for both online and offline gameplay these days. More importantly, each and every time they play, gamers leave massive trails of digital breadcrumbs. These large pools of unstructured data can be analyzed via on-premise or cloud-based big data analytics platforms to yield important insights about gamers such as: when they are playing, how long they are playing and with whom they are playing and interacting, as well as how much they are spending on virtual products. Coupled with information garnered from social networks revealing a player’s real-life preferences, the data can provide valuable insights to help gaming companies tailor the game to more closely match the gamer’s profile.
Increased Virtual Product Sales
The sale of in-game products provides a serious revenue stream for the gaming industry. And big data enables companies to deliver tailored and targeted in-game advertising that speaks to the needs and wants of the individual player. Additionally, through big data, companies can adopt Amazon’s successful e-commerce model by recommending virtual products based upon what other gaming customers bought. This more targeted and “stickier” advertising approach results in increased revenue through higher conversion rates as well as greater up-sell and cross-sell of virtual products.
Increased Player Engagement
The benefit of big data analytics is that it can provide an accurate picture of how the player interacts with the game on all levels. Armed with this information, companies can put strategies in play to keep players more fully engaged. For example, when analysis shows that players are abandoning the game early on, this could be an indication that the early levels are too difficult. In this case, dialing down the difficulty level could keep players more engaged and encouraged to keep playing on. By the same token, data analysis can show if the later levels of the game should be beefed-up to make them more challenging and engaging. Analysis can also reveal those elements in the game that are the most and least popular, allowing programmers to make alterations in an effort to keep players appropriately challenged, properly rewarded, and constantly engaged.
Optimized End-User Experience
The main reason that Apple was revitalized under Steve Jobs is that the company began offering, not just products to perform various tasks, but products that delivered an enjoyable end-user experience. And the ultimate goal of the gaming industry should be to deliver virtual products that optimize the end-user experience as well. That being said, the most engaging online game in the world will come up short if it suddenly slows down due to unexpected surges in online players that tax the capacity of its servers. Through the use of predictive big data analytics, companies can preserve the integrity of gameplay by identifying future peaks in user demand and scaling up accordingly in order to meet those demands. In addition, being that games are now being developed to play not just on Xboxes and PlayStations but mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, big data analytics can provide valuable insights to help keep the gaming experience optimal and consistent across all platforms.
How QDS Can Help Manage Data Analysis
Qubole Data Service offers a fully elastic Hadoop engine, which allows companies to process large jobs and maintain performance during peak demand. With auto-scaling, computing resources are added automatically based on need. QDS also makes big data integration easy due to its pre-built connectors and ability to build custom connectors, and QDS offers full cluster management, reducing downtime due to configuration errors.
Read about how one leader in the mobile and social gaming industry used QDS to improve conversion and player retention rates.