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Game Analytics 201: Business Issues

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

May 4, 2015 9:00:00 AM

At GDC 2015, Ninja Metrics CEO Dmitri Williams gave a lecture that addressed a series of business issues facing marketers, BI teams and developers in the gaming industry. This lecture, Analytics 201, builds upon the intro material to Analytics 101: Definitions, and covers topics including basic knowledge of Machine Learning Models (MLMs), pros and cons of regression, Lifetime Value (LTV) modeling, Customer Acquisition Cost(CaC), Network models, Attribution approaches and empirical benchmarks.

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Topics: Game Analytics, GDC 2015

Game Analytics 101: Definitions

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Apr 28, 2015 10:00:00 AM

In the world of game analytics, the first question every game developer should ask themselves is if analytics are needed, and if so, will they be actionable. Many businesses get caught up in the idea of being “data driven,” but creating data only for data’s sake isn’t necessary. Once a developer finds an actionable focus, analytics can come into play.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Metric Definitions, GDC 2015

Ninja Metrics at GDC 2015, Surviving a Game Conference, Smartphone and Tablet Gaming Stats, Free Indie Dev Tools

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 26, 2015 9:29:38 AM

Ninja Metrics at GDC 2015

Speaking of GDC, our very own Dmitri Williams (CEO of Ninja Metrics) will be speaking at the event. Dmitri’s first presentation will involve Social Impact in Design and Acquisition which reveals benchmarking stats for the game industry, never before seen. His talks start on Tuesday, March 3rd at 3PM PT. He’ll also be covering Analytics 101 and 201 later in the week. For more information, take a look at Dmitri’s GDC 2015 schedule here.

Surviving a Game Conference

GDC, the largest conference for game developers, is less than a week away. As the event quickly approaches, it’s important to be prepared so that you can get the best possible experience.

For a first time attendee, conferences can be overwhelming due to confusing floor plans and large crowds. Study the floor plan and map beforehand to plan out where you want to be during a specific time.

You’ll also want to make the most out of networking opportunities during the event. Try and book meetings with potential clients and the press before the event to save you time and help organize. When meeting someone new, it helps to have a mutual contact present to introduce you to one another.

Most importantly, attend as many keynotes and tracks as you can, to take all of the information in and get the most out of the conference experience. There’s a lot to learn from fellow game developers and industry leaders.

For more tips on surviving at game conferences (and learning how to party at them), take a look at this article on PocketGamer.

The Latest Stats on Smartphone and Tablet Gaming

A new report by research firms App Annie and IDC has discovered that the world is using more than 1 billion smartphone and tablets for gaming, which is roughly 15% of the world’s current population.

Making up 75% of the smartphone and tablet gaming market is Android, whose use has grown 5.2% over a year. Apple lost 2.3% smartphone and tablet gaming year over year, and other mobile OS’s (such as Windows Phone) lost 2.8%.

Head to VentureBeat’s article here for more findings from the report.

Free and Great Tools for Indie Developers

Making video games doesn’t have to be hard for the average indie developer, thanks to a large variety of free tools. From game engines, to graphics, to sound and video editing, there are many platforms to choose from.

You can take a look at indie game developer E. Zachary Knight’s personal suggestions here on Gamasutra. For a few other tools, check out one of our older blog posts free game dev tools  here. Social Value White Paper Ninja Matrics

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Development, Game Industry

Mobile Games Advertising, Soft Launch Games and Early Access Tips

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 13, 2015 11:11:02 AM

Taking Advantage of an Opportunity in Mobile Games Advertising

It’s been recently estimated that over $500B in U.S. retail sales is directly influenced by mobile content, and by 2016, mobile’s influence on in-store sales is expected to jump from 20% to 50%. This creates a huge opportunity for video game developers that need in-game advertising for revenue. Here are a few things you can do:

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Topics: Game Industry, Mobile Games

Indie Pitfalls, Cross-Platform Development and The Future of VR Gaming

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Feb 5, 2015 11:22:00 AM

Indie Pitfalls to Avoid

Being an indie developer is not easy, since many indie studios are a one or two-man operation, usually funded straight out of pocket. Adding on a part or full time job to the side can make things even more difficult. How can an indie developer avoid pitfalls and come out on top?

Nick Hatter used to be your average indie game developer who started making games for fun at a young age, but is now a full time developer and entrepreneur, known for creating a startup called giftgaming. Along the way, Nick has learned many things you should and shouldn’t do as a game developer - and he recently put together a top 10 guide of pitfalls you should avoid.

You can read the guide here on GamaSutra, as Nick covers everything from funding, to management to customer feedback.

Cross-Platform Development

We’ve come a long way in the last decade or so with the evolution of gaming platforms starting with home consoles, the boom of PC gaming, the rise of handhelds like the Nintendo DS, and finally mobile gaming on iOS and Android devices.

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Topics: Game Development, Game Industry

Mobile Game Use Statistics, Social Media Promotion & Google Play Downloads

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Jan 29, 2015 9:08:00 AM

Mobile Game Use on the Rise

A new study by market research company NPD has revealed how much time each person spent playing mobile games daily, in 2014. Surprisingly, that number has increased by 57% since 2012. The answer? The average person spends just over two hours a day playing mobile games.

This news is great for F2P game developers, since longer play sessions can increase the likelihood of spending. “Continued mobile growth will stem from existing customers paying more to play, especially in the free-to-play portion of the market,” said Liam Callahan, the NPD's industry analyst.

Check out NPD’s full findings here, for more insight.

How to Promote your Game on Social Media

For many indie game developers, the whole game promotion process can be a one-man band. Fortunately, there are a bunch of tools to help you schedule your social media content (such as Buffer) and engage with your Facebook and Twitter fans all in one place (i.e. HootSuite), which help ease the whole process a bit.

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Topics: Game Development, Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

Windows 10 Holographic, “Frogger” Games on the Rise and 2015 Games Revenue

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Jan 22, 2015 8:07:00 AM

Microsoft’s Windows 10 HoloLens

Virtual reality has become one of the hottest tech topics over the past few years, with companies like Oculus giving video games a fresh of breath air and Sony joining the competition with Project Morpheus.

But another form of alternate reality technology is called “Augmented Reality” - popularized by projects like Google Glass - which combine both the real world with the virtual world. This Wednesday, Microsoft announced their foray into augmented reality at the Windows 10 briefing, with the HoloLens augmented reality headset.

The HoloLens is designed to be a see-through pair of goggles, similar to Google Glass but less subtle looking (although not as bulky as the Oculus). The lenses feature holographic capabilities that overlay images on top of the real world, and the goggles themselves include voice and motion sensors to let users interact virtually.

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Topics: Game Industry, Mobile Games

CES 2015 Gaming Tech, Minecraft Records, Predictive Analytics

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Jan 16, 2015 8:47:00 AM

Best Gaming Tech from CES 2015

Last week’s CES 2015 was the biggest ever - attracting more than 3,500 exhibitors and 200,000+ attendees. The show had everything from curved HDTVs, to the latest wearables, to drones and quadcopters.

The gaming industry also had a big presence at the event - from brand new startups to juggernauts like Oculus and Sony making headlines. Here are a few gaming highlights from CES 2015:

  • Well-known gaming accessory company Razer made its virtual reality debut with a head-mounted platform called the OSVR - aimed at being affordable ($199) and open sourcel.
  • The Motix wants to replace your mouse with finger pointing. A motion-tracking sensor is placed behind your keyboard, and a tactile-feedback strip attaches right below your spacebar (for mouse buttons), so that your hands never have to leave the keyboard. Games that make use of shortcuts might be a great fit for this (like real time strategy).
  • Sony announced a Google Glass competitor, called the Sony SmartEyeglass Attach. The difference is that Sony’s product can be clipped on to any pair of glasses via a single optical display. Is the future of casual virtual reality gaming near?

Minecraft Beats Several Guinness Records

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Topics: predictive analytics, Game Industry

2014 Mobile/Social Gaming Highlights and Lowlights

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Jan 2, 2015 12:18:00 PM

Mobile and Social Gaming Industry Highlights in 2014

2014 was a huge year for the mobile and social gaming industry. According to App Annie, iOS games revenue increased by 70% year over year, and Android games revenue increased by 60% during the same period. Total mobile games revenue is expected to reach $25B by the end of 2014, surpassing console gaming which has suffered a 28% revenue decline over the last year.

What about social gaming? Looking at Facebook games, Gamasutra found that on average, 365 million users played Facebook games daily in 2014 - which is 5% higher than the year before.

Global expansion played a huge part in the growth of mobile/social games during 2014, as many of the major game publishers made an effort to localize their games in countries such as China, Japan and India. In just the first six months of 2014, China had over 330 million mobile gaming players!

What were the top mobile and social game genres of 2014? Based on the 4 major gaming platforms, a study found that Match 3 and slot-type games came out on top, while farm and building simulators followed close behind.

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Topics: Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

2014 Video Game Industry Trends

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Dec 18, 2014 9:49:00 AM

As 2014 is winding down, it’s finally time to take a look at some of the most important video game happenings from throughout the year. This year we had everything from the Oculus acquisition to the highly controversial #GamerGate topic. Below are the top 4 trends that shook the video game industry in 2014:

Facebook buys Oculus

Back in April, social media giant Facebook announced that it would be acquiring Oculus VR, makers of the famous Oculus Rift headset for $2 billion. This came as a huge shock to the gaming community: why would a social media company buy a virtual reality company? Facebook’s answer, from CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, was along the lines of “we want to revolutionize how people in the real world interact with the virtual world”.

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Topics: Game Industry, Mobile Game Industry

Games Industry Growth, The Business of Games and Mobile TV Gaming

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Nov 13, 2014 3:56:38 PM

Games Industry Growth

ESA, known as the Entertainment Software Association, released a report earlier this week in partnership with Economists Incorporated, about the impact of the video games industry on economy in the United States.

Surprisingly, the key takeaway from the study found that the video games industry is growing 4 times faster than the U.S. economy.

Other interesting statistics from the study revealed that from 2009 to 2012, video game industry job growth increased 13 times the rate of the U.S. labor market - and the average annual salary of someone directly employed in the video games industry is $95,000.

You can take a look at more of the report’s findings here on GamesIndustry.

The Business of Games

Because video games have a relatively short life cycle and highly competitive nature compared to other industries, it can be difficult to create a long-term and sustainable business out of them.

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Topics: Game Development, Game News, Game Industry, Mobile Games, Mobile Game Industry

Predictive Player Retention, Lowering Game Dev Risks & Gamer Differences

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Nov 7, 2014 7:33:00 AM

Increasing Player Retention with Predictive Analytics

In just a little over two years, the value of mobile game players has skyrocketed - in 2012, 1 million users were worth just $1.3M, and now they’re worth nearly $3.4M.

Since the value of mobile gamers is on the rise, it’s important to keep them coming back for more. Why? The market is becoming increasingly flooded, and more competition means that you’re at a higher risk of losing loyal players. It’s also more difficult and costly than ever to acquire new players.

One way to increase customer retention is by providing a solid customer relationship management (CRM) foundation - which includes customer support and overall community management. Couple that with a predictive analytics platform, and you’ll be able to analyze how it affects your bottom line, over time.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Development, Video Game Marketing, Mobile Game Analytics

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