GameAnalytics: Getting the Numbers Right with Unity.

204655_GameAnalytics_LogoGameAnalytics, a software startup, has just received a big franchise boost in the video gaming space.

GameAnalytics is located in Copenhagen, raised $2.5 million in the 1Q13, and is assisting developers with in-game metrics.  Unity is the leading development platform for creating video games (with 400,000 monthly active developers) and will now include the GameAnalytics software in all new releases of Unity’s game engine software.  A developer can find it at the Unity Asset Store.

This will be especially beneficial for small to medium-sized game developers who don’t have the bandwidth and/or financial resources to set up their own database to track and measure user behavior and experience.

Imagine this: The first or second level of a game is too difficult and the new user is turned off and  never comes back to the game; or, the monetization opportunities are not calibrated correctly and it results in few or no in-game purchases.  Understanding in-game play and behavior based on hard facts is critical to a game’s success.  

Yes, quality content is the primary driver but the ability to measure and understand what the in-game experience is a close second.   An objective understanding may allow a developer to modify or revise the video game, ultimately moving the “success” needle in the right direction. This may include finding and fixing software bugs, maximizing monetization opportunities, fine-tuning game design or making sure there is an overall plan to insure quality.

GameAnalytics has moved from a freemium model to a FREE model for the developer, so the inclusion of the software with the Unity game engine adds all kinds of value (with little downside risk) for the developer and ultimately the consumer.

Some of the features are pre-set to match the industry’s standard metrics, including the various per user stats.  The software also provides insight into cohorts which can get very detailed (ie, time-to-first occurrence for a unique event in the game).  I also like the funnel analysis which allows you to measure the player’s moves and where there might be a friction point which the developer can refine.  Finally, in the browser version, you can literally “see” the user’s experience with the aid of a heat map.  This gives a developer insight into how the user wants to play the game.  

Hopefully the user’s heatmap or “footsteps” match up with the way the developer envisioned playing the game.  If not, GameAnalytics provides the developer a real-time opportunity to make adjustments that better meet the gamer’s desired experience.