Data-Driven Games Development Rockstars

Apr 12, 2013

I have to say it my friend: I´m an avid gamer. Big players like EA´s Activision with its Call of Duty Black Ops II, Ubisoft with its amazing Assassin Creed franchise, Blizzard with Diablo III, Konami with Metal Gear Rising, Microsoft with Halo 4, Bioware with its incredible Mass Effect 3, and many more good amazing names are gathering a lot of attention for gamers, but there are another kind of games that are capturing gamers minds: Social and Mobile games.

Today, there are some teams which are disrupting gaming industry for its novel way to create engaging and cool games. And How do you think that companies like Wooga, Rovio, Supercell are winning this hard game? Using Game analytics. Yes, my friend, using cool things like A/B feature testing, customers analysis, MAU performance, DAU predictive analytics, and many more techniques.

These new companies are leading a new revolution where Facebook and Mobile platforms have a key paper in this success. You know that I´m a Data-Driven guy, so, I will show you some stats about these facts [1][2]:

  • More than 250 million of people play games on Facebook every month (MAU)
  • Game installs on Facebook have increased 75% compared with 2012
  • 53% of Facebook users play games
  • 38% of US population currently plays some type of freemium game
  • Freemium accounts for 55% of all mobile games revenues — compared to 6% of ad revenue
  • 65% of all revenue from the top 100 iOS games comes from freemium transactions
  • The average transaction value for iOS or Android in-app purchases is $14, with over 50% of revenue from freemium purchases deriving from transactions over $20

But, you shoud be wondering why I think that Rovio, Wooga and Supercell are leading this movement. I will give you my perspective about them.

Rovio: The birds which are eating the world

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Rovio[/caption]

This is one of the best executed business plans that I’ve seen in my life, which all began with a cool name: Andry Birds. This cool name have become in a one of the largest franchises around the world, under the great leadership of Mikael Hed (CEO) and Niklas Hed (Co-Founder) and their amazing management team.

The revenue of Rovio obtained in 2012 have been massive[3]:

Total consolidated full year revenue grew by 101%, driven by a healthy growth in games revenue and consumer product sales, and amounted to €152.2 million (2011: €75.6 million). Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were €76.8 million (2011: €46.9 million), up 64% from year 2011, and net profit after tax was €55.5 million (2011: €35.4 million)

The company have taken advantage of its great popularity annd they have created a store dedicated to sell related products to Angry Birds like toys, PC versions of the game, and more cool things. But, not just that; they went beyond that: Now, they enter in the Advertising space to directly put some ads in its game, in partnership with Burstly: great move !!!

But, they are just starting. They have a great future, I think. And to support this massive growth, they need Software Engineers, Customer Representatives, Game Designers, and of course: Data Scientists. Do you want to look some of the work that they are doing with in the Analytics space? Just read here a great blog post published on their blog, where they explained that they use Flurry Analytics to support that: great move again !!!.

Flurry has built an amazing platform for Mobile Analytics, and they have great experts in Big Data Analytics like Alex Rovner, Engineering Manager, AppSpot at Flurry, who is a well-known expert in Hadoop and related technologies around the world.

So, you have two options here, you can apply for an Analytics Developer role at Rovio, or, you can apply for a Data Scientist role at Flurry. Both companies have a great culture and engaging enviroment, so don’t wait a second and apply today my friend.

Wooga: Where cool figures, statistics, great culture and high scalability challenges have a common home

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Wooga[/caption]

This is another company who is creating cool games, and they have hiring two or three new people every week. This is a true international company, in the center of Berlin, where innovation is everywhere.

Do you want to see some of the problems which you can work inside Wooga? Just read its Slideshare’s profile and see the amazing technical talks by Jesper Richter-Reichhelm, Head of Engineering at Wooga: [slideshare id=17004437&doc=2013–03-qcon-jesper-130307071119-phpapp02]

At Wooga, you will work with some of the best Erlang experts, great Product Managers, amazing technical leaders like Jesper, and marvelous designers to create remarkable games to a massive quantity of users. If you want to see some of the key statistics like DAU (Daily Active Users) and MAU(Monthly Active Users), you can visit this link for that.

Do you want some ideas how to be good asset for the company since day one?

  • Create some predictive models based on Machine Learning and Data Mining to see how you can decrease customer chunks every day
  • Get deeper to the main cause why they are leaving the games, and create some clevers solutions to avoid it
  • Create a recommendation system in Real-time using Hadoop, Storm or Apache Drill to determine which will be the next big region where current and prospective gamers will play Wooga’s games, and give to Jens Begemann, Wooga’s CEO (@begemann)

Supercell: The new “babyboy” with a remarkable future

Conclusion