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Game Analytics 101: Understanding Social Value - Part 3

Posted by Greg Kathol

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Jan 20, 2015 4:02:00 PM

Over the last few months, we’ve covered what video games analytics are, how to set up a platform, and basic game analytics definitions.

Now that you have a general understanding of game analytics, it’s time to learn about the types of players who have the biggest impact on your game - and how to find them. Most developers tend to focus on their core players and a B2C-type relationship. While those types of relationships are important, player-to-player (or C2C) relationships are even more powerful.

Why? Let’s use the “Birthday Paradox” example:

Let’s say you are in a room with 30 other people, and you want to know the probability of 2 of those people sharing the same birthday. Egocentrically, most of us tend to naturally look at the problem from our own perspective - guessing a 1/365 probability (for every day of the year).

                                  Figure 1                                                                                                   Figure 2

But if you step back and look at the peer-to-peer relationships, each of them has a network of 30 other people to compare to. The person next to you has the same 30 and the person next to them and so on - bringing the probability up much higher, as depicted in figure 2 above.

Applying this principle to gaming, let’s say you have 3,000 daily active players. Many developers will focus on targeting just those 3,000 people - when in reality, each of them has their own network of peers. Everything a player does socially (playing, spending, sharing) has potential to influence each of their peers, and that powerful influence is something that can be measured, it's called “Social Value”.

When social value is combined with the commonly measured lifetime value (how much behavior you can expect from a person before they churn out), you get a more accurate prediction of your bottom line. This sum is called the true total value of a user.

For example, imagine one player has a lifetime value of $50 - how much you expect them to spend on your game before they quit. But let’s say they also have a social value of $60 - which is how much they caused their friends to spend through influence. That person’s true total value is $110.

People with the highest social influence and thus, Social Value are called “Social Whales”. These are your most important customers, and the ones you’ll want to target the most as they cause others to spend time and money in your game or app. With the use of a big data and predictive analytics platform, such as Katana®, it’s easy to determine who your social whales are. Traditionally, we tend to focus on marketing to our own players - but why not let your players do the marketing for you, to their own friends? Heck, they already are doing this. You just need to know who those players are and help nurture those powerful relationships in-game. You can learn more about social value and social whales here, in an article by our CEO, Dmitri Williams. Stay tuned for insight on social value trends and patterns from Dmitri in the near future. Social Value White Paper Ninja Matrics

Topics: predictive analytics, Game Analytics, Social Value

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