Game developers turn to psychological profiling for long-term success
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Game developers turn to psychological profiling for long-term success

Video games continue to see their popularity increase, as they become the planet’s dominant form of entertainment. One huge boost to gaming has been the widespread adoption of mobile platforms – people who didn’t have the time or inclination to play complex titles on consoles or personal computers can now be found wiling away their morning commutes on Farmville, Candy Crush, or any number of other “casual” games. The constant connectivity to the internet that accompanies these games has led to immense amounts of data as to how people play, and when. And in the information economy, that is power waiting to be exercised.

Gaming companies held in Dominion’s Global Trends Ecommerce Fund are having an incredible year


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

According to Africa Perianez, chief data scientist at Silicon Valley Studio (a company that uses gaming data to create psychological profiles for developers) “gaming data is perfect for studying human behavior. It’s going to change the industry, change the direction of personalized games.”

An example of this might be developing methods to keep gamers playing titles for longer. Based on their history over a number of titles, companies like Silicon Valley Studios can create psychological profiles of gamers that include findings like how much in-game stimulation a particular player needs to keep active on the platform. If that player has a habit of dropping out after a certain amount of hours without success, games developers can tweak settings, making that player’s experience of the game easier, letting them beat tricky levels and keeping them engaged.

The result of tweaks like this is a more robust ecosystem of “whales” (the top 1% of spenders, who contribute around 50% of revenue for “freemium” games – games that are free-to-play, but include in-game purchasing options), and a larger pool of “krill” for them to feed on (“krill” are the players who never make an in-game purchase. They might not contribute revenue, but by playing at a disadvantage to their big-spending peers, they offer something for the “whales” to “feed” on).

This creates clear and massive opportunities for game developers. But it could be great for gamers too: who wants to spend hours playing something that’s too hard or too easy?


Dominion holds a number of the world’s leading game developers in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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