Using Incremental Data Science to Create Mobile Games

Using Incremental Data Science to Create Mobile Games

This article will cover the top three ways data science can immediately improve mobile game development. All mobile game studios with some level of analytics ca

Using Incremental Data Science to Create Mobile Games

Systematically enhancing the gameplay and increasing KPIs

Game development frequently resembles stumbling around in the dark. It might be challenging, if not impossible, to know what to do next to enhance the player experience. Or how to slightly raise those KPIs. The development team may have some excellent ideas, but they are frequently unsure which ones to focus on first or which could be most beneficial. Data can be able to save the day here.

This article will cover the top three ways data science can immediately improve mobile game development. All mobile game studios with some level of analytics capabilities can perform these tasks with a live (or soft-released) game. They are excellent for data scientists seeking their first project at a mobile games studio because they can be completed entirely offline.

Optimize the FTUE

The first-time user experience, or FTSE, occurs when a player first launches the game; it's a key first moment. All free-to-play games share the same flaw: they're free and simple to install, making them free and simple to remove. I'm sure many of you who are reading this can recall a mobile game they downloaded, played for less than a minute, and then deleted. After installation, more and more gamers will depart every minute. After installation, most of your players will have permanently left in just a few days.

Modeling Player Churn

Most people agree that the most crucial free-to-play indicator is retention. As we've already seen, even a small adjustment in retention can significantly affect other KPIs and, ultimately, the success of a game. Modeling retention (or churn) is a good candidate for a first machine learning project. We may then analyze this model entirely offline to find problems, provide recommendations for solutions, and enhance the user experience for our players. Usually, this process produces some intriguing and unexpected suggestions for enhancements.

Since they are generally quite performant and relatively easy for humans to understand, tree-based models are a suitable option. Visit a data science course to know about tree-based models in-depth.

LTV models for UA optimization

Along with the game's advancements, data science has a lot of potential applications in user acquisition and performance marketing. When running ads in a particular country on a particular platform, user acquisition (UA) typically entails defining a CPI (cost per install) that you are ready to spend. There are a variety of additional "purchasing" strategies available depending on the ad network, but for the sake of this lesson, I'll stick with normal CPI since that's what they all ultimately come down to. The primary contribution is providing early signals and insights to UA managers to help them better understand where advertising spending is successful and where it is not and to help them find sources with untapped potential.

Since there are so many games in the app stores, most gamers won't even be aware that your game exists without effective marketing.

Spending on a marketing initiative that will never be profitable will only result in losses.

Underspending on an advertising campaign with a high ROI could result in less than ideal growth.

Typically, marketing managers may create a straightforward LTV curve using historical data to determine the return on ad expenditure by a specific date. Data science comes into play here. We can create a more complex and reliable model that forecasts users' long-term worth using information from our players' early play sessions. Then, using that model, we can forecast the long-term worth of new consumers obtained through advertising and determine if each ad campaign is likely profitable. When compared to straightforward historical LTV curves, these models are typically more resistant to changes in the product and variations in install "quality."

Our campaigns appear less profitable when the top 1 percent of spenders are excluded from our projections. This shows us that certain of our campaigns depend on a relatively tiny percentage of installs to break even by D90 and that we are exposed to a high risk of losses because of the daily variability in the amount of these high-value consumers we may acquire through these ads. This topic about risk tolerance soon devolves into studio-specific issues, so that I won't get into them here.

As a result, we suggest that our UA manager stop the campaign in France and lower the CPI in Britain, which seems to rely the most on "whales" to break even by D90. Australia, Canada, and Switzerland are nations where we may seek to produce higher growth by raising CPIs.

The fact that campaign performance isn't fixed is a key lesson to learn from this. It may alter for several reasons. In light of this, we should regularly assess the effectiveness of our advertising campaigns, forecast D90 ROAS using our model, and provide feedback to UA managers so they can make necessary adjustments. By doing this, we can immediately boost the revenue generated by our game, which we can then reinvest in more development or advertising to fuel further growth.

I hope this article on data science in game development was interesting enough. You’ve seen data science can be found in literally every corner of the world, making data science an absolute need. For additional information on data science techniques or data scientists tools, explore a data science course in Mumbai, designed in collaboration with IBM.