The excitement that came with the release of a much anticipated computer game when I was growing up was considerable. Computer games were often in excess of £50 and at the time seemed like an investment - one which I hoped would keep me occupied up until the next big game was released.
At that time, around a decade ago, the video game industry held all the cards. They would develop a game, market it to create demand and then release it. The developers would hope that their consumers liked the product as it would increase the chances of them buying a second instalment, but even if they didn't, they had already paid their money.
Today's video game industry is in sharp contrast to this, with a new free-to-play model causing poor retention rates and low levels of profitability. With 66.7% of the UK's population owning a smartphone and 41.1% a tablet, the likelihood of you seeing someone playing Candy Crush or Clash of Cans is high. With thousands of games released for free every year, if a user doesn't get hooked on a game instantly, there's no real need for them to persevere with it as they've not had to pay for the game. What this has done is to shift the paradigm completely in the favour of the consumer, as without their undivided attention, the developers are unable to offer add-ons and advertisements which bring in revenue.
This shift means that the advancement of analytics is essential to a developer's capacity to release video games which champion personalisation. We're now in the third phase of analytics, namely, Analytics 3.0. This approach gives developers the ability to customise a game to the users demands by determining what their playing style and player engagement levels are like.
With acquisition costs at an all time high, investing in analytics has never been more recommendable. It provides developers with the opportunity to undertake detailed analysis on their players, finding new ways to engage with them and to decipher which aspects of the game aren't working correctly.
The most successful game developers will use analytics to form a better understanding of their users. This will create a more personalised experience that increases engagement levels. The chances are creating the next Candy Crush remain slim, but with Analytics 3.0, there's at least a glimmer of hope.