St George & Sutherland Shire Leader

From data to decisions: The role of analytics in game design and strategy for Australian developers

Learn how analytics is revolutionising game design and strategy in the context of games found on the Australian games and beyond. Picture Shutterstock
Learn how analytics is revolutionising game design and strategy in the context of games found on the Australian games and beyond. Picture Shutterstock

Brought to you by Emmanuel Davis

The video game industry is undergoing a paradigm shift, driven by the increasing prevalence and reliance on analytics.

For Australian developers, navigating this landscape has become crucial to their success.

By leveraging data, developers can create more engaging experiences, cater to specific user preferences, and boost their chances of success in a competitive market.

This article explores how analytics is revolutionising game design and strategy in the context of games found on the Australian games and beyond.

Understanding Player Behaviour: The Heartbeat of Game Design

Historically, game design was an art founded on intuition and creativity.

Today, it's a blend of art and science.

Recent research suggests that more than 60 per cent of developers now use analytics to understand player behaviour.

By tracking and analysing in-game actions, developers gain insights into players' preferences, pain points, and engagement patterns.

For example, data might reveal that players in Australia drop off after a particular game level.

Armed with this information, developers can pinpoint the issue, whether it's a steep difficulty spike or a less-than-intuitive game mechanic, and address it promptly.

Personalisation: Crafting Tailored Experiences

According to a study by Newzoo, the global gaming market is expected to surpass $200 billion by 2023.

With such staggering numbers, it's evident that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. The diversity of players demands diverse experiences.

Analytics play a pivotal role here.

By segmenting players based on behaviour, developers can craft tailored experiences.

For instance, if data indicates that a segment of players enjoys challenging puzzles, developers can introduce more intricate challenges for these players.

Conversely, if another segment prefers narrative-driven gameplay, developers can focus on building a richer storyline for them.

Personalisation enhances player satisfaction and, consequently, increases retention rates.

Monetisation and User Acquisition: Turning Insights into Revenue

While creating an engaging game is a primary goal, the bottom line for many developers is revenue.

Analytics aids in fine-tuning monetisation strategies.

In Australia, for example, players spend an average of $85 annually on video games, according to the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association.

Knowing how and when players are likely to make in-game purchases can optimise revenue streams for Australia online games.

Similarly, user acquisition is another area where analytics shines.

With the cost of acquiring a new player often exceeding the cost of retaining an existing one, developers are increasingly using data to identify the most effective channels and strategies for user acquisition.

Analytics can also shed light on players' demographics, helping developers target their marketing campaigns more effectively.

Predictive Analytics: Charting the Future of Game Design

The next frontier in game analytics is predictive analytics.

By leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence, developers can forecast trends, anticipate player needs, and even predict how design changes might impact player engagement.

A recent study found that predictive analytics could improve player retention rates by up to 20 per cent.

Imagine being able to predict, with reasonable accuracy, which features will resonate with players or which game mechanics might lead to increased churn. It's a game-changer, quite literally, for the industry.

Conclusion: Embracing the Data-Driven Era

The Australia games scene, like the global market, is increasingly data-driven.

For Australian developers, embracing analytics isn't just a strategic move; it's a necessity in today's competitive landscape.

By transitioning from intuition-based decisions to informed, data-driven ones, developers can create games that resonate more profoundly with their audience, ensuring both player satisfaction and commercial success.

As the line between art and science continues to blur in game design, the role of analytics will only become more paramount in shaping the future of gaming.