Using Big Data to Improve Video Game Experiences
A big data customer feedback tool to help with video game development.
InData Labs, United States
The intention of video game makers is to create something that is fun to play. A lot of hard work, ingenuity and financial investment goes into making them interesting for players, but success is not guaranteed. Like many products, consumer feedback can make or break them.
The gaming product market is highly competitive and game development can be a risky business owing to rapidly changing industry trends and the subtle differences in customer preferences. This has led some studios to develop a strategy of engaging users in product development in order to deliver games that are more aligned to their wants and needs.
When Pocketwatch Games was developing 'Tooth and Tail', a real-time strategy video game it ran a private alpha with an active community of around 100 players. Each person was a player-contributor who recognized the game was still being developed and who shared their own visions and thoughts to help guide the development team. This wasn’t a bunch of critiques to be acted upon but considered opinions by players who understood the developer's vision.
Player Feedback for Game Development
Another way studios are attempting to hit home runs is simply by encouraging both positive and negative feedback. Gamers are not shy about coming forward on social media or other forums with their reviews of new releases, so there’s no shortage of information. With comments about pricing, packaging, playability, bugs and much more, this presents a deep vein of data that can be mined for future product development.
For example, by analyzing player feedback gaming studios can pick up on the latest player demands and funnel the information to their development teams. Also, engaging players before a game's release can provide a valuable heads up should they find any bugs or other issues. Fixing them ahead of release is cheaper and more preferable than sorting out the problem further down the line.
However, with so much information it is often extremely challenging to effectively process it all manually.
Better Harnessing of Data
To help it better harness customer data an international game developer and publisher with an audience of more than 150 million turned to InData Labs, a company that provides AI-powered software and technical solutions. The team built and developed built a customer feedback tool that combined reviews from YouTube and other sites into one database, searchable by topics, dates and so on. This innovative solution is powered by customized neuro-linguistic programming models that are trained to understand the slang of particular games. Unless you are a gamer, this language can seem impenetrable.
Time and Money Saver
With the help of this tool, the international game developer is able to quickly react to players’ feedback as soon as a game goes live. This has helped reduce the costs and time involved in manual retrieval and processing of reviews as well as improved the quality of insights. Another benefit is a reduction in bias associated with different people's perceptions of customer feedback. This has led to improved decision making.
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