4 Ways Analytics Boost Game Development, Gameplay, And More

by Analytics Insight

March 28, 2022

Analytics helps professionals in multiple industries design better products, and games are no different

Games are a serious business. Once viewed as entertainment options, games have morphed into a mainstream pop culture phenomenon. Developers and game studios have long poured significant resources into development.

While some proportion of gamers prefer traditional card games, simple games like free online solitaire, or point and click games like Mini Metro, a significant number of gamers expect slick user experiences and immersive game worlds. The recent rise of the Metaverse as a business model has further gamified the mainstream.

Analytics helps professionals in multiple industries design better products, and games are no different. Here are four ways in which analytics are boosting the world of gaming.



Games these days are extremely immersive, with multiple options for gamers to explore. While popular games maintain a central storyline with a few side quests or options, an increasing number of games feature open worlds. An open world refers to a gaming environment where a player can create and define their experience based on how they interact with other in-game characters.

For instance, the recently released Elden Ring game allows players to access numerous combinations of quests depending on the time, method, and context of interaction with in-game characters. Such complex interactions and player experiences cannot be created without input from analytics.

During game development, game studios test pieces of their creation on pilot audiences and monitor everything from player reactions to engagement rates. Given the complex in-game relationships between player actions and in-game character reactions, analytics is used to monitor everything from quest implications to defining character responses.

In short, games are data-driven creations, no matter how complex and artistic their storylines might be.


Monetization models

Games are increasingly being used to supplement and overtake primary income streams. For instance, during the initial days of pandemic-forced lockdowns, people in the Philippines and Indonesia turned to blockchain-based games to earn rewards via in-game tokens and NFTs.

These NFTs rose in value as the gamers increased their in-game skill levels. In turn, this allowed gamers to earn money despite being shut within their homes and deprived of their primary sources of income. Dubbed play-to-earn, game monetization is being disrupted, and developers are rethinking traditional models.

Typically, mainstream games require users to purchase software and in-game upgrades. Play to earn also requires initial purchases, but offers gamers the chance to win that money back and earn additional coins. As a result of its popularity, data regarding the top play-to-earn platforms is at a premium.

Gamers are thirsty for data surrounding the most popular and lucrative play-to-earn games, along with information on the most popular game-related NFTs. Online directories that list in-game NFT prices, chart game token trends, and offer information on upcoming token bounties are the norm.

These models have prompted a rethink from mainstream developers. For instance, creating digital lounges within games where players can spend and earn money, or offering merchants the ability to sell players’ products within a Metaverse are options being explored.

As game studios collect more data and gamers demand more analytics, there’s no doubt that the way we think of video games will quickly change.


Game UX

User experiences are paramount in games. Gamers are a highly demanding audience and can be quick to point out any loopholes. For instance, any in-game bugs will be exploited and word will spread within the community like wildfire. In the past, gamers recognized the lack of software sophistication and forgave studios for such lapses.

However, thanks to hyperrealistic gameplay and strong competition, gamers are less kind to bugs. Analytics help developers monitor in-game actions and track possible problems before they mushroom into an issue. For instance, spiking gamer engagement in one portion of the game might indicate an event of interest.

This isn’t to say bugs solely cause engagement spikes. Interesting characters and engaging storylines also cause gamers to flock to certain portions of the game. Metrics such as the number of interactions per NPC or storyline, nature of gamer actions, and player engagement maps help develops pinpoint UX strengths and weaknesses.

The result is constantly engaging UX that captivates audiences and leaves them wanting more.


In-game marketing

As monetization models change, game studios must rethink product positioning and ad distribution. Gamers are extremely sensitive to product placement, and wrong ad distribution can jeopardize a game. Ads typically power casual games on mobile devices, but this doesn’t mean developers can place them anywhere on the screen.

Analytics helps developers figure out the best placement opportunities. For instance, areas of high engagement that do not obstruct in-game experiences are best used for ads. In-game product placement can also take the form of a character using a product in some way.

Analytics help developers monitor audience reactions and create better ad delivery within their games.


Always evolving

Engagement and metrics lie at the heart of every successful gaming experience. Game studios and developers leverage the insights that metrics provide to create memorable experiences that bring gamers back for more.

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