Big data aids video game designers

As the Hadoop big data market continues to grow, more enterprises are finding new ways to take advantage of the technology's superior processing power. Regardless of their industry or sector, any organization that generates data can utilize these tools. The video game industry, for example, has long been an excellent candidate for big data implementation. According to the NDP Group's annual market study, video game sales in the United States totaled $14.8 billion in 2012, Financial Post reported.

Not only does the industry as a whole generate massive revenue, but the individual projects can require substantial investments from companies. The New York Times reported that one recent release, "BioShock Infinite," cost developers an estimated $100 million dollars. Analysts who spoke to the news outlet said marketing expenses to support the game could be expected to add another $100 million to total production costs. With stakes that high, video game companies should take every advantage they get can get, especially with data analytics.

The wealth of information at developers' fingertips
According to the blog Revolutionary Analytics, industry member Rajat Taneja spoke of the potential for video game companies to utilize big data at the recent Strata Santa Clatra 2013 event. There are more than 2 billion video game players in the world generating approximately 50 terabytes of data each day. Taneja's employer, Electronic Arts, is reportedly pursuing the deployment of predictive analytics to glean insight into their users' behavior and determine the most optimal way to engage them.

Improving player adoption rates
Some analytics companies have already begun approaching video game companies with opportunities to leverage big data tools. ZDNet reported that Singapore-based company ZelRealm has developed a big data software program specifically designed to help mobile game developers maximize their efforts to bring in new users. The company's founder explained that the cost of advertising and marketing campaigns frequently outweighs the revenue gained from a new user for many developers. Analytics tools can be used to optimize these efforts to get the best return on investment possible. They can also be used to help developers convert one-time users into repeat customers. Data analytics software can assess the behavior of a gamer and determine the most promotional strategy to encourage him or her to return. For instance, users who actively message other gamers and also display a predilection for collecting in-game items could be interested in a virtual marketplace where gamers exchange these goods with one another.

Developers can even use data analytics tools to improve the in-game experience for users to encourage them to continue playing and potentially purchase more products. Science Daily reported that researchers from Georgia Tech designed an analytics tool that measures a player's skill, recommends new challenges and increases or decreases the difficulty level based on his or her performance. This can help ensure that users do not become frustrated or bored with a game and continue to the end. 

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