As our screen time increases, the gaming industry has managed to flourish, capturing much of our limited attention. This is primarily because of the continuous introduction of exciting advancements in technology, including 4K, online streaming and Virtual Reality (VR).
In a short span of time, this particular entertainment sector has managed to create a massive and global community that is reshaping the way people interact with the world. As their audience continues to grow, developers and gaming companies are faced with the challenge of ensuring they deliver a seamless user experience.
Along with the growth in interest toward games and Esports, users continue to demand better player experience from the developers. In this highly competitive industry, data leads the way.
Game companies have a lake of user data that offers insights into how they can improve the player experience and retain more players. While there are some pretty intuitive ways to track a game's success, it's not so easy to convert those insights into strategies. Given all the amount of metrics and data to collect, things can get complicated in the process.
To simplify game analytics and provide a clearer view of the statistics, we've listed down four useful metrics that can be used to help capture and evaluate the gamer's experience.
1. Daily and Monthly Active Users
The daily active user (DAU) is the unique number of users that start at least one session in the game on any given day. By itself, DAU and other high-level metrics don’t offer much insight into the game’s performance. However, making a comparison ratio of DAU to Monthly Active Users (MAU) can provide more constructive data when it comes to how well an app or game retains its users. This is often referred to as the stickiness of a game. With this metric, developers and game companies can identify how frequently gamers play and log-in to the app.
Getting a good DAU/MAU ratio is a great indicator of how engaged your users are. For games, having a DAU/MAU of between 20% to 30% is considered to be pretty good. For social apps, like Facebook messenger and Instagram app, a successful one would have a DAU/MAU closer to 50%.
2. User Referral and Acquisition
Analyzing the "K-factor" or tracking the development of the customer referral strategy is another good metric to include when it comes to monitoring user experience. Through this data, it's easier to neatly summarize the effectiveness of your marketing approach along with the performance of the game with its current players.
In addition, knowing how many new users the game acquired in a particular period of time can help with the visualization of the growth and interest of people to the game. Along with DAU/MAU percentage, keeping an eye on new player sign-ups allows game companies and developers to quantify how effective their marketing approach is when it comes to user acquisition.
3. Player Retention
User retention is another critical metric to include when measuring the level of gamer's experience. If an app or a game manage to create and maintain a long-term relationship with its users, then it's a positive indication that people are enjoying the experience.
You want to avoid the "churn" or the period when players who downloaded your game are no longer playing. This usually happens during the first few days upon installation. The goal is to encourage these people to launch and play the game continuously for a month. Once your game or app manages to keep users interested that long, it means that they are going to stay with you for a longer time.
4. User Lifetime Value (or Monetization)
While the first three metrics are centered solely on user experience, this next one would be more on analyzing the user lifetime value (LTV). This basically refers to the amount of net profit your game can earn before the player churn from the app or game. In-app purchases, along with in-game ads, are some of the prime examples of game monetization. This can be visibly seen on many apps and mobile games today.
Ideally, the goal is to ensure that the LTV is three times higher than the amount you've spend to acquire or persuade a user to play and interact with the game. The monetization factor of the app or game is almost similar to the acquisition metrics and the retention metrics since this measure is the “pulse” of your strategy. If the numbers are going up and performing well, that means your tactics are working.
Getting users to pay real money in a free-to-play game is a difficult assignment. But, as with many other industries, repeat purchasers generate the majority of revenue in these types of games. It's important that you encourage these users to make the first conversion. Offering a virtual item of incredible value is a good strategy you can use to persuade them to make a purchase.
Level Up Your Gaming Experience
As the industry of gaming and Esports continue to thrive, competition gets more fierce. It's important that game developers remain agile enough to keep up with these changes. Part of this requires having partners who understand the player experience and how to improve it. Together with the right partner, game developers can more easily inspire loyalty from their player base.
Everise is a global customer experience company built upon a philosophy of leveraging technology, geography and data to extend transformative, brand- defining experiences to gamers and game developers. Contact us to learn more.