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App Analytics, Future of Android Games, Tracking F2P Metrics, Ad Monetization

Posted by Zach Taiji

May 6, 2015 8:54:55 AM

Apple’s App Analytics

Earlier this week, Apple began rolling out its new app analytics service in beta. Soon, developers will no longer need to use third party services like App Annie. If you’d like to be a part of the beta, sign on iTunes Connect here. For more information on the news, see this article on PocketGamer here.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game News, Game Industry

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 News Roundup: GDC 2015

Posted by Greg Kathol

Mar 5, 2015 9:19:00 AM

With this year’s Game Developers Conference now in full swing, it’s time to take a look at what has happened so far and what’s in store for the rest of the week.

What is the Game Developers Conference? GDC is an annual conference where game developers and video game industry professionals converge in San Francisco every March, for a week full of sessions from key industry leaders, video game announcements, game development tool announcements and more.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Social Value, Game Industry, Mobile Games

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 to Overtake Consoles, Day-1 F2P Players and Most Popular Games & Platforms in 2014

Posted by Greg Kathol

Feb 19, 2015 1:38:00 PM

Mobile to Overtake Consoles

Mobile gaming has exploded in the past few years, with large thanks to countries like China and Korea adopting the platform. Meanwhile, console sales have been somewhat rocky as the PS4 and Xbox One are still relatively new.

It also doesn’t help that consoles largely focus on AAA titles, which have seen huge budget cuts in the past few years with the increasing competition of indie games.

The gaming landscape is changing so quickly, that a new report by research firm Newzoo has predicted that mobile game sales will overtake console game sales this year. Mobile games are expected to generate over $30 billion in sales by the end of 2015, nearly $4 billion more than console games.

For more insight on the report, take a look at this article on PocketGamer.

The Importance of Day 1 F2P Players

F2P MMO’s are great games to measure data from, because of their large global user base and transactions. A new study by SuperData Research has taken a look at player retention in F2P MMO’s, and the results are interesting.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Industry, Mobile Game Analytics

Game Analytics 101: Understanding Social Value - Part 3

Posted by Greg Kathol

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.

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Topics: predictive analytics, Game Analytics, Social Value

The Father of Video Games, Facebook’s & Apple’s Games of the Year and Facebook Retargeting for Indies

Posted by Greg Kathol

Dec 11, 2014 1:31:00 PM

Facebook’s & Apple’s Games of the Year

On Wednesday, Facebook announced their favorite Facebook and mobile games of the year for 2014. Facebook chose Cookie Jam as their top game of the year, a puzzle-based game where players try to match ingredients and complete recipes. As for mobile games, take a look at Facebook’s top picks below - most of which were dominated by the base-building strategy (think Clash of Clans) type of games:

  1. Boom Beach
  2. Crazy Taxi
  3. Disco Bees
  4. Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff
  5. Star Wars: Commander

Earlier this week, Apple released their mobile picks of the year (including both apps and games). Apple’s favorite mobile games included the wildly popular Monument Valley, Threes!, Device 6, Blek and Leo’s Fortune - all games that we love here at Ninja Metrics. What are your favorite mobile games from 2014? Share your picks in the comments below.

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Topics: Game Analytics, Game Development, Game Industry, 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”

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

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

App User Acquisition Stats, Male vs Female Gamers and Starting an Indie Studio

Posted by Ninja Metrics | Blog

Oct 31, 2014 8:07:00 AM

Mobile-App User Acquisition Costs on the Rise

A new study by mobile marketing firm Fiksu revealed some unfortunate news this week for mobile developerswho plan on making money. According to the report, the cost of acquiring a mobile-app user has risen 34% since last year - peaking just last month in September, at roughly $2.25 per loyal user.

Fortunately, there’s some good news to all of this - enthusiasm for devices has also increased, giving developers more opportunity to acquire users and take advantage of the latest technology. Fiksu’s data revealed that during the first 30 day launch-period for each device, the iPhone 6 outsold the iPhone 5 by 116%.

Mobile app adoption rates have also increased, at 5.5 million daily App Store downloads versus only 5.3 million a month before. You can take a look at more of Fiksu’s report here on VentureBeat.

Poll: Male vs Female Gamers

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

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

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