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How Analytics Are Shaping Social Games 47

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-away-from-my-dopamine-receptors dept.
Data mining and customer tracking are familiar concepts from online advertising, but an article at the Guardian examines how metrics and analytics are becoming a big part of the social games people play as well. This merging of games and advertising sounds just as distasteful as you might expect: "Whereas traditional games are about creating big macro-environments for player exploration, freemium is about micro-managing every step the player takes toward actually buying something. 'A developer can build 'funnels' that depict the player actions leading to a financial conversion like purchasing extra content or virtual merchandize,' says Justin Johnson, CTO of Playmetrix, another British company specialising in game analytics. 'It's then down to the developer to use this analysis to improve conversion by removing obstructions and bottlenecks that may be inherent in the design.' ... It's a strange business. In the free-to-play universe, every player action is a potential metric in a revenue model. In-game behaviour is an algorithm that needs to be unraveled and de-coded. Developers have to operate like a sort of secret police agency, effectively bugging players – the Playmetrix software allows them to embed 'call backs' into their game code that trigger when players do something of interest. This is all visualised via graphics and charts so activities become infographics.'"
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How Analytics Are Shaping Social Games

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  • by Abrisene (1477289) on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:27PM (#36781422)
    Once you understand the methodology, it's not too expensive. The expense comes from paying for a product manager who understands the metrics, and for the analytics package itself.

    Really the wonderful thing about metrics is that it allows you to tailor the game to the player.
    Right now this is used entirely to help increase bottom line factors like monetization, retention and virality, but there are a couple of us who are interested in using metrics to increase the overall quality of games as well.

    Expect to see some really scary and some really amazing things in the next couple of years.
  • Re:ANAL LICK THIS !! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday July 15, 2011 @06:33PM (#36781472) Homepage Journal

    I understand that this AC "first post" troll is annoying, but after some serious thought about the topic presented in this article, I believe that "ANAL LICK THIS haha!!" is probably the most insightful response to the nauseating view of human "play" that this miserable article depicts.

    I'm not kidding here or trying to make fun.

    This is from the article:

    "Whereas traditional games are about creating big macro-environments for player exploration, freemium is about micro-managing every step the player takes toward actually buying something. 'A developer can build 'funnels' that depict the player actions leading to a financial conversion like purchasing extra content or virtual merchandize,' says Justin Johnson, CTO of Playmetrix, another British company specialising in game analytics. 'It's then down to the developer to use this analysis to improve conversion by removing obstructions and bottlenecks that may be inherent in the design.' ... It's a strange business. In the free-to-play universe, every player action is a potential metric in a revenue model.

    Get that? "Every player action is a potential metric in a revenue model." Does that have anything at all to do with the notion that any of us has of playing a game? Don't we have enough of the "revenue model" in our regular lives that we want to spend our leisure time engaged in this ugly procuring? Honestly, how many of you are interested in spending the precious little time you have where you are not actively engaged in activities meant to ensure survival playing a game where you are constantly being hustled? Have we become so debased that instead of a challenge or puzzle or exciting exercise of hand-eye coordination or strategy we find pleasure in the empty promises of the online equivalent of prostitution, except without even the titillation?

    No, at the risk of wasting a comment beneath a clearly down-modded troll, I have to agree: ANAL LICK THIS!! haha!!.

    "Freemium"? Really??

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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