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Greg Kathol

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Black Friday Gaming Recap, Mobile as an Ad Platform and an F2P Turning Point

Posted by Greg Kathol

Dec 5, 2014 11:34:23 AM

Ninja_Round-upBlack Friday: Consoles Dominated but Online and Mobile on the Rise

This year’s Black Friday was a huge success for the gaming community, as the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) ranked video games as the 5th top tech product among consumers between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

Furthermore, research firm Newzoo estimated that as much as $20B in video game sales are expected to be made in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, with most of the revenue coming from Black Friday events.

What were the most popular Black Friday deals in gaming? According to Larry Plotnick, category leader for Amazon Games, hardware and console bundles took the lead in Black Friday games sales, with big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy offering the best deals.

But online and mobile are changing the Black Friday landscape as well - CEA estimated a record breaking 103.3 million U.S. consumers (42% of the american population) shopped online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. A recent article on Fortune highlighted the topic, and asked our CEO Dmitri Williams about the influence of online and digital on Black Friday sales. He said “As we advance towards a focus on digital distribution and mobile games, the social impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is becoming more important than ever. Mobile and digital developers are using the holiday sales opportunity to leverage their most influential players to increase spending. Social influence during Black Friday and Cyber Monday can account for up to 40% of all spending within games.”

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Topics: Game Development, Game News, Mobile Game Industry

F2P Goes From Free to Get, Mobile Discovery Tips and The Death of Launch Dates

Posted by Greg Kathol

Nov 20, 2014 1:33:00 PM

F2P Goes From “Free” to “Get”Ninja Round-up

Earlier this week, Apple decided to change the wording on their Mac and iTunes App Stores for free-to-play games. Instead of a free “Free” download button, the F2P games now display “Get”.

The new change in wording is most likely a response to the negativity that F2P games have been receiving over the past few years, in an effort avoid complaints over misleading F2P games. Regulations laid down by the European Commission earlier this year provided similar guidelines: “Games advertised as 'free' should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved”. Other app stores like Google Play’s have already conformed to a few of these regulations in Europe. You can learn more about the changes here on Gamasutra.

Mobile Discovery Tips

Google Developer Relations executive Rupert Whitehead recently spoke at the London Games Conference to provide advice on how mobile game developers can improve the discovery of their video games.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Industry, Mobile Games

Game Analytics: Basic Definitions - Part 2

Posted by Greg Kathol

Oct 29, 2014 8:31:21 AM

Recently we talked about the importance of video game analytics and how to prepare for an analytics platform, covering event logging, SDK installation and data storage options in part 1 of this series.

Today we’ll be going over the basic definitions that you should know when using a game analytics platform. The language can be overwhelming and confusing at first due to the use of acronyms, but they’re very easy to understand and self-explanatory. Each of the basic definitions represent what we call KPI’s - Key Performance Indicators - measuring different aspects of how well or bad your video game is doing.

The first five top-level definitions you’ll want to add to your game analytics vocabulary are DAU, MAU, DAU/MAU, ARPU and ARPPU. If you’ve used an analytics platform before, you may know what they mean. Here are some basic definitions, applied to gaming:

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Topics: Game Analytics, Video Game Analytics, Mobile Game Analytics

Game Analytics: Where Do I Start? - Part 1

Posted by Greg Kathol

Oct 15, 2014 7:43:00 AM

The big data analytics revolution over the past few years has led a lot of businesses to believe that they need to implement some sort of big data solution. The downside is that many of those businesses don’t really understand how it works, or even what big data really is.

In layman’s terms, “big data” is defined as sets of data so large that they can’t be analyzed with traditional processing applications and instead require a more complex and multifaceted solution.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Mobile Game Analytics, Online Game Analytics

Social Value Study: Imperia Online

Posted by Greg Kathol

Oct 10, 2014 10:02:00 AM

Social Value Study: Imperia Online

Imperia Online is a video game production company known for their self-titled strategy MMO for Android and iOS. Throughout the year, we’ve been fortunate enough to have Imperia Online use our Katana® Social Analytics Engine to help measure social value and player influence.

By using Katana, the Imperia Online team found that their social value has accounted for almost 75% of all playing hours in the game - meaning that that players don’t just play alone - they play socially, driving each other’s playing time.

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[Infographic] Social Value - Finding The True Influencers in Social Games and Mobile Apps

Posted by Greg Kathol

Apr 11, 2014 11:11:00 AM

Social Value | Social Whales | True Influence

Below is an infographic of what Social Value is and a new way to think about Social Whales and individual LTV. This is a departure from how people traditionally have thought about lifetime value and influence within social games and apps. This truly is a disruptor that will change the way developers, marketers and anyone involved in mobile games, apps and PC games see their players and users.

Feel free to share this infographic about Social Value on your site.To make it easy to share, we have included embed code below.

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Topics: Social Value, Social Influence, Social Value Infographic, Social Whales, Individual LTV

Ninja News Roundup: Facebook Acquires Oculus, King IPO, and Evaluating Features for GaaS

Posted by Greg Kathol

Mar 27, 2014 8:08:00 AM

Ninja Round-up Katana GuyFacebook Acquires Oculus for $2B

One of the biggest surprises to come out of this week was yesterday’s announcement by Facebook that the company would be acquiring VR company, Oculus, for a blistering $2B ($400M in cash and 23.1M shares in stock).

First reactions to the announcement weren’t particularly positive - Minecraft founder, Notch, said he would cancel any talks of bringing the popular video game to the Oculus. The whole indie gaming and development community as a whole didn’t fare well with the news either, citing a distrust of Facebook, betrayment of loyal Oculus Kickstarter backers and the foreshadowing of a “Farmville” VR game.

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Topics: Game News, Game Industry

Will Bitcoin Have Any Real Effect on the Video Game Vertical?

Posted by Greg Kathol

Feb 21, 2014 9:02:00 AM

There is a fair bit of noise out there about Bitcoin. Many have heard of it, most are trying to figure out what it really is, but some are using them and even “mining” them. So why is Bitcoin important, if at all and why should I care. Will Bitcoin have any real effect on the video game vertical? Time will tell, but I have some thoughts about this.

First a Little History

Bitcoin was created as a digital peer-to-peer currency in 2009 and is not backed by any government entity, bank, or other centralized service. A person (or group of people some contend) going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, wrote the software for issuing or as it’s called, mining the Bitcoins. Here is the original paper describing Bitcoin. The mining process occurs when a participant solves complex math problems to mine the Bitcoins. Since mining and verification are decentralized, the growth and security of the system does not rely on a single source but rather a vast global network using cryptographic technology. Miners are rewarded for their efforts by being required to verify and record the transaction of a Bitcoin in exchange for Bitcoins and a small transaction fee, not unlike credit card processing or PayPal. What is unique about this process is that Bitcoins are created at a rate of 1 block or 25 Bitcoins every 10 minutes. There is a finite amount of Bitcoins that will be available to the world; only 21 million will be issued ending in the year 2140. Bitcoins are kept in digital wallets and are spent by going through a rather standard online transaction similar to online banking or PayPal purchases. Here is a little more info on Bitcoin. And if you are interested, a great Wiki page on digital wallets.

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Topics: Game Industry, Bitcoin

Ninja Metrics Launches Katana® Analytics Engine For Game Industry

Posted by Greg Kathol

Nov 13, 2013 3:35:00 PM

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Topics: Ninja Metrics

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