We are all aware that game data analysis is necessary to improve revenue. It provides a more accurate understanding of games based on objective data and helps to set specific directions for improvement.
However, game companies have trouble even starting game analysis due to the challenges presented by data collection. While major companies have their own data mining teams, most developers will utilize existing data analysis platforms. Which tool should you choose to analyze your game more easily and accurately?
1. Log data collection – Custom event
This is a comment left on the custom event logging tutorial of Google Firebase. Key events related to Firebase SDK games.
- Firebase SDK
Since Firebase is not a game-dedicated server, the game-related events within SDK are highly limited. As such, a vast amount of custom event logging is required for more meaningful analysis. Having a higher degree of freedom is advantageous, but as mentioned in the comment, it will be challenging for users who lack experience and knowledge. When choosing an analysis platform, you must consider what you feel to be more important: carrying out game-optimized analysis VS speed and convenience.
The “suggested events” mentioned in the comment refer to events that are not basic events in SDK, but are provided in Firebase as guidelines for easier logging. Game-related suggested events in Firebase.
Most platforms, including Firebase, have very few pre-defined events like basic events and suggested events. Platform users must log custom events since the existing events alone are insufficient for game analysis. Many developers, as indicated in the above comment, do not know how to go about data logging. Related information can be obtained from the platform-provided guides and tutorials, or from developer communities like Stack Overflow. You may also want to take a look at TentuPlay’s detailed breakdown of its approach to game data logging.
Guide to game log data collection for beginners1.
Applying 5W1H to the game log
Four steps of designing a game log system
Game log system optimization
4. Three things to know to make a good game log system
If custom events are still a handful, you can choose a platform that has already defined events relevant to your game. The analysis platforms vary in their number and type of events. For example, deltaDNA provides 50 event templates in addition to its 7 basic events. TentuPlay collects data using 49 basic events in SDK without custom events, making it easy to apply.
2. Checking analysis results - Dashboard
General analysis results – KPI
Once data logging and collection are complete, you can check the dashboard for the results of the data analysis. Most platforms provide information on key performance indicators (KPI) such as the number of active users, retention rate, and revenue through a dashboard.
Analysis results by platform
The basic analysis results, other than KPI, vary by platform. Platforms like Firebase with more customization support provide default user configurations (gender, nationality, platform, etc.), and use the dashboard for other events. Specialized platforms, like Game Of Whales, present results that are focused on paying users. Platforms with pre-defined events present more diverse and detailed information. For example, GameAnalytics shows trends for in-app purchases (time-series), virtual currency acquisition/use (time-series), and game progress (time-series). TentuPlay goes a step further, providing information on retention rate, in-app purchases, and ad watching by stage/level, which is valuable for BM improvement.
Platforms with simple dashboards have a custom dashboard function. Firebase provides a dashboard for each event, but other software like BigQuery must be used since the basic dashboard only shows the event count. deltaDNA offers, in addition to its basic dashboard, functions such as chart, query, and custom dashboard creation. However, creating a custom dashboard can be difficult if you lack expertise in data analysis.
Going beyond prediction and evaluation – Limitations of time-series analysis
The ultimate goal of game data analysis is to increase revenue. You must first identify the strengths and weaknesses of your game, and target an area to improve. Obtaining meaningful insights that go beyond simple assessment and prediction is more difficult than you think. This is because most platforms are limited to time-series analysis.
Here’s an example. To determine the most effective time to encourage a non-paying user to become a paying user, you must look at in-app purchases on the dashboard. As shown below, GameAnalytics and most other platforms only provide daily sales information in relation to in-app purchases.
What can you know from time-series analysis? For the above game, the analysis shows that 1) sales increased every weekend, 2) sales surged on long weekends, and 3) the discount event on the 23rd was highly effective. The results are helpful in predicting weekend sales and the effects of game events.
Such evaluation and prediction do not lead to higher sales. We must find out when users feel a strong desire to clear a stage even if they are charged, and which zone to propose pay-to-play to maximize revenue. This means that knowing the conversion rate by stage/level will be more important than daily sales.
Conversion rate by stage/level
For the above game, the conversion rate was the highest at Stage 1-1. Higher conversion can be achieved by suggesting purchases at this time. (When proposing purchases, users are more likely to accept if you recommend popular items by segment as shown below.) You can compare stages with high and low conversion rates to gain insights into gameness and BM improvement.
TentuPlay’s basic dashboard
Finding the right tool
Different analyses are needed given the different conditions of developers and games. You can use a separate software like BigQuery to customize the analysis for your game or choose a platform with a simple query function or custom dashboard. If you need a simple and convenient analysis service that helps you save time and resources, how about adopting TentuPlay? The detailed analysis by stage/level will give you information on retention rates and reveal specific methods of increasing revenue.