Big Data, The Cloud and Gaming
Big Data plays a major role in gaming, an industry valued at over $90 billion today. With the gaming industry more competitive than ever, developers are trying to understand player psychology and behavior to ensure games are constructed in such a way that players find their “flow zone.” Ensuring gamers keep coming back through game optimization, refining factors which encourage titles going viral, and additionally monetizing games through in-game purchasing is a blueprint to a gaming business’s success.
Big Data Analytics for Gaming
Every player interaction, mouse click, and keyboard press creates valuable data in game logs. However, if you’ve ever opened a game log, you’ll wonder how on earth you’re supposed to find it. This is where Big Data analytics steps up to the plate. Aggregated and analyzed, game logs explain what engages players and what encourages them to return. With the added social media and web access integrated, player profiles can be further developed, allowing gaming companies to provide personalized experiences and drive game attraction.
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Through combined user behavior and demographic information, merged with brands regularly engaged with, it’s possible to understand preferences and create specifically targeted digital ads, improve user experience, and identify VIPs. Analyzing combined logs and player data also enables the identification of common characteristics, helping recognize what drives particular gaming segments to play, and play longer. This has the added benefit of enabling gaming businesses to target new users most likely to engage with their titles. Finally, testing and analyzing results ensure constant gaming development and tweaking, based on real player data feedback.
Big Data Solutions for the Gaming Industry
No longer a market only for the giants, thousands of smaller game designers and developers are creating successful products for both traditional and emerging platforms, such as social media or mobile devices. With some estimates suggesting approximately two billion video game players worldwide, Big Data services are more relevant than ever, but the nearly unlimited data collected poses its own problem. Sources include gameplay data, social media, micro-transactions, price points, in-game advertising, payment systems, virtual goods, real-time events, multiplayer interactions, and content updates, and developers run the risk of recording data merely because it might, at some time, become relevant. Suitable Big Data solutions are shifting the focus to the right data for generation of actionable insights.
Uniquely able to address many technical challenges of the gaming industry, cloud-based architecture can provide scalable data storage solutions as well as the essential real-time availability. With billions of records streamed and immediately analyzed, cost-effective and low CAPEX cloud solutions are attractive. For the small gaming providers, analytics and storage vendors are offering tailored cloud solutions that provide the necessary speed, scale, cost, and capacity through fully managed, cloud-based Analytics as a Service platforms. With their near real-time analytics of current and historical data, smaller gaming companies are able to compete with the likes of Sony and Microsoft through these innovative and cost-effective Big Data analysis platforms.
Swiftly adopting Big Data technologies, the gaming industry is refining customer engagement, optimizing game development and end-user experiencing, and creating more effective targeted and personalized advertising. The blending of cloud-based tools offers further advancement as complicated and expensive infrastructures are outsourced to cloud service providers who manage the IT staffing and maintenance necessary to these platforms. High performing, scalable, service-based analytics cloud solutions mean game developers can focus on what they do best, leaving the Big Data analysis to experts and directly embedding the insights gleaned into gaming projects for improved traction, larger market engagement, and greater business success.
By Jennifer Klostermann