ookies, the purchase of keywords in Google AdWords, or equivalent tools in social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, make up the present and future set of tools that companies have to reach their potential customers. Together with the new formulas and algorithms that monitor customer's behavior within a framework of an increasingly-growing online gaming sector, the consolidation of Big Data in the industry provides a greater capacity to make decisions based on infinite amounts of data.
The raw data generated by players grows exponentially year after year. According to information provided by the Reality Games site, more than two million players represent a 50-terabyte data flow per day. First line multiplayer games generate 1 terabyte per day internally, and social games, 150 gigabytes.
According to Kevin Rands' article from the CIO site, one of the main reasons for online and social gaming growth is Big Data, which had been already implemented to collect data several years ago, but the ability to understand and monetize it, has just begun to bear fruit today. For instance, large companies such as Microsoft now appreciate the value of data processing and buy gaming companies, such as Minecraft, which provide them with better resources to understand and capitalize user behavior directly in their long-term business.
For instance, in online bingo sites, every interaction generates some type of information, either by clicking on a bonus promotion, by choosing a slot game instead of other available options or through conversations started via the bingo game’s chat.
"Using this data, a site could easily outline the level of adhesion of each player, classifying this data according to gaming type and modality. The site’s algorithms and personalized games can be then modified to better fit each player individually, based on what generates more traffic on the platform," explains Alan Daitch, main collaborator for the Google Advertiser Community and founder of analytics consultancy Digodat.
In that sense, he points out that some strategies could break the rules, for instance by changing the chances of winning when they detect that someone is about to leave the site. But other tactics could be adjusted to better fit current regulations, and be aimed at understanding the profile of the user, by answering questions such as: once users lose, how long does it take them to play again? Do they spend more time with slots, poker or baccarat games? They could even help shape and improve online games in real time by changing the rules of slot machines, trying different cards or personalizing their features according to each user in terms of skills, difficulties, and probabilities.
“ The site’s algorithms and personalized games can be modified to better fit each player individually, based on what generates more traffic on the platform,"
"Nowadays, industry leaders are analyzing a wide range of aspects on a global basis, but they are probably missing options such as predicting user return, when users feel they need to win to continue playing, with what kind of incentives they are prone to betting more money, and even synchronize this information with other platforms. If these major companies exchange this information with other data from different types of suppliers, they will be able to create profiles on a personal or city level" he explains.
Robert Rippee, director of the International Gaming Institute of the University of Nevada (UNLV), told Yogonet that the use of Big Data will play a key role in attracting new generations to the gaming industry, and in fact, it has been playing that role for several years. "The key evolution with big data will come with more AI integration, putting the data to work to make life easier and more enjoyable to this generation," he added.
According to Rippee, Big data and an accompanying AI integration could theoretically create skill-based gaming experiences specific to each individual: "Today, we make gaming machines and play table games designed for an older generation, many are passive like the slot machine. Big data and AI could create a new paradigm of skill-based games specific to the likes and playing skills of an individual, not only making the game more enjoyable for the player but keeping the player engaged for a longer period of time and more loyal to the operator. " He also points out that “it is difficult to identify particular differences in big data between gaming jurisdictions, simply because there are too many variables.”
“ A Big Data and AI integration could keep the player engaged for a longer period of time, and increase their loyalty to the operator"
Consulted by Yogonet, Michael Soll, president and founder of The Innovation Group, believes that Big Data as a general influence on commerce will have a similar impact on gaming as it does in other commercial activities, especially on those areas where the currency is discretionary income "However, within gaming there is tremendous untapped potential to utilize data analytics to refine the use of marketing resources unlock value in players."
Soll was one of the speakers at the last edition of the Brazilian Gaming Congress, held a few weeks ago. According to him, it is precisely that South American country - if gambling finally becomes legal in Brazil- one of those that will have the advantage of having new technology platforms and being in a position to leverage large amounts of data captured within the management system. However, “putting the data to work is up to the business.”
“ Within gaming, there is tremendous untapped potential to utilize data analytics to refine the use of marketing resources unlock value in players."
Meanwhile, this technology exchange between companies and events is already playing a crucial role now. Before discussing Big Data at GET 2017 in Barcelona, José Plano, CTO at Win Systems, claimed that thanks to the increasing use of mobile devices, the amounts of anonymous data that can be collected from different sources is "virtually infinite", and if used in the right way, that information can improve the operator's marketing strategies. Sportradar has been processing and distributing sports data for several years. Sirplay partnered with Google Cloud to manage their databases, and integrate them with machine learning technology (automatic learning), a type of AI: "It is the opportunity to manage Big Data with products such as Google Cloud Pub / Sub, Google BigQuery and Google Cloud Bigtable. There are no limits to what we collect and analyze. We are making long-term investments in machine learning, which will help us better understand the demands of our customers," said Roberto Murasso, executive manager at Sirplay.
The next edition of Juegos Miami, which will be held from May 30 to June 1, has been announced as a new instance to further deepen the debate around this technological boom in the gaming industry. The use of Big Data for marketing and better customer acquisition and retention, and mobile and online gaming growth will be at the core of the event’s program.