Big Data Analytics - A New Innovation in Gaming Industry

December 17, 2016 By Ravindra Savaram

Believe it or not, today the value of electronic gaming industry is beyond 90 billion dollars. It has come a long way since the days of Pac-Man and Pong. Not only multinationals like Electronic Arts (EA), Sony or Microsoft but also thousands of new designers and smaller developers are developing games for platforms like mobile devices and social media sites.

Believe it or not, today the value of electronic gaming industry is beyond 90 billion dollars. It has come a long way since the days of Pac-Man and Pong. Not only multinationals like Electronic Arts (EA), Sony or Microsoft but also thousands of new designers and smaller developers are developing games for platforms like mobile devices and social media sites. Because there is so much money involved and gaming is a saturated market of developers and players, there is a huge competition. Gamers have so much money and so much time, meaning developers are constantly struggling to get their games into the hands of these people as there is an extreme amount of competition between the developers. The expectation levels of gamers have reached the top of the sky as they are expecting extremely unique graphics and higher levels of gameplay.

Before we go to the role of data science in Gaming industry, let us learn something about data science and bigdata. Data science is a field about systems and procedures employed to retrieve the data and provide a value to that data, whether the data is structured or unstructured. Fields such as predictive analytics, machine learning are being used for analysing the data and data science is a continuation of these fields. Predictive analytics is a type of advanced analytics that employs both historical and new data to determine the future trends, behaviour and activity. It also means applying the techniques of statistical analysis, analytical queries and machine learning algorithms which are automated into the data sets to create predictive models that allocate a score or numerical value on the state of something is being likely of happening of events. Data scientists are the persons who bring a certain shape to huge amount of unstructured data and make the dream of data analysis a reality for this kind of data. They combine the sources of data which are structured as well as unstructured and bring value to them. The sources of data which are structured as well as unstructured are described by a term known as Bigdata.

The role of big data is extremely huge in gaming industry. Consider Zynga, the company which owns games such as Zynga poker, Words with friends and Farmville. These games are played usually on social media platforms but not on PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo which are known as game consoles. These games make use of the user connections that kind of platforms provide. Their games are also developed to make the effective use of big data that those social media platforms allow them to gather. So, it will be very interesting to know how gaming companies, for example Zynga, influence the data or information to provide the bored people(gamers) with compulsive, novel distractions and to make large amount of money for themselves.

Microtransactions and Macrodata

Most of the games in today’s gaming world depend on a similar principle. For example, one of the most popular games known as candycrushsaga uses a business standard known as ‘freemium’. Players need not hand over money in advance to offer them but they charge very small amounts known as microtransactions for enhancement purpose that that gives them an edge over other gamers and will bring much more fun into the game. Consider the game Farmville, which is a simulation for cultivating a farm, you can buyadditional livestock for your agricultural purpose which is virtual. Arrangements with a territoryof ‘partners’ are in place which starting with credit card companies up to movie services which are on demand providing opportunity for players to obtain credits to put in the game by accepting their proposals.

This connects to their stream of second revenue which is known as Advertising. We are familiar with the idea of online advertising. When you are playing a game, you regularly see advertisements just like while reading any type of magazine or watching a TV. Here, the information that they gather from social media platform such as Facebook is utilised to provide marketers accurate demographic target for their online campaigns which are segmented.

Bigdata also has a role to play in the design of games. Zynga’s smartest insight of big data was to notice the significance of offering their users what they really want, and till the final point observed and recorded how its games were being played, utilising the information gained to twist the gameplay per, what was really working well. For example, animals used to be only in the background in the early versions of the games but when the data revealed that they were very popular with the gamers, they were given prominent roles in the latest versions of games. Zynga’s interfering presence in social media platform like Facebook has ended relation with it. Due to this, the company’s position and credibility has been declined in the gaming industry. To avoid this, gaming companies should see that they are up-to-date with the latest trends and they should strive to bring new and exciting content into this industry. But, this company’s games whichused the data innovatively from the base can be termed as a good example depicting bigdata as a trend setter in the gaming industry as these games had become extremely popular and took the company to top position in the gaming industry utilising the bigdata concept.

Data Mining in Minecraft

The revolution created by bigdata is still going on. When game developers analyse every twitch of joystick, they are aware that large amount of data can be gained which is in-turn used to assess how games are being played by gamers and what they enjoy in the games they play. Once a game gets released, this kind of assessment can be used to determine at what point players are getting annoyed and the game developers can deploy live updates to entertain the players providing them with a challenge without annoying them. The aim of any gaming company is to make the players play their game as much time as possible because the players are paying for the time they play their game and if it is a free game, the players can see the adverts posted by the gaming company when they are playing that game.

The capabilities of data mining which are integrated in Minecraft which has made Microsoft acquire it for $2.5 billion. Microsoft could use these capabilities in other products. Minecraft is an extremely popular game on world-building concept. This game is based on a massive database which contains thousands of objects and individual items that constitute each world. Upon playing this game, the players are necessarily manipulating that information or data to create an outcome of their choice. In the opinion of Microsoft, Minecraft introduces to children, the principles of manipulation of digital data which relate to the real world.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is the latest trend in gaming world. There is a plan to launch VR Headsets soon by Multinationals like Microsoft, Facebook and Sony. The way we interact with the data and explore it well outside the boundaries of gaming industry will get hugely impacted due to these VR Headsets. Gaming has a significant role to play in the design of interface and the development of procedures for monitoring and processing data produced by the people reaching out or interacting in a captivating virtual environment.

For a certain amount of time, gaming industry has generated more revenue than movie industry in the US. To succeed in this gaming world, the company must be technologically very strong to grab its audience’s attention. These new innovations are never going to get ended till the time we need these games to keep us fresh and feel relaxed.


How would it be if you are a data scientist at a gaming company? The answer is very simple, it would be as exciting and interesting as there is in a good data science job. The gaming industry is a great place to be for data scientists due to various reasons I mentioned above like it offers a large amount of data and it offers a huge scope for experimentation. If we look at the popularity for data scientists, a recent study by McKinsey Global Institute indicates that having shortage of people who are talented in data management and having analytical talent to make the most of data in various industries such as Gaming is a big challenge. The report given by the institute predicts that there will be around 5 million data scientist jobs only in U.S by 2018 in different fields. The report also predicts that 1.5 million more managers and analysts are needed with expertise in data science. Now, the average base salary for a data scientist is 3 times more than for a normal software engineer in U.S. For the year 2016, data scientist has been regarded as the best job in U.S considering its job opportunities, median base salary, career opportunities and job score. Among the highest paid jobs in U.S, data scientist occupied 16th position. So, if you take training and gain expertise in big data, it can create miracles to your careers as there are so many industries like Gaming who are offering jobs for data scientists and paying them huge salaries.

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