Why biometrics is the next level of game analytics

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Recently, SEKG was invited to give a contribution to the American media Gamesauce regarding the use of biometrics in the videogame industry. This is the re-post of the original article.

Video games certainly have evolved over the years and are different from one to another. However, there is one thing they have in common: the players. We all have a different experience while playing, as well as different emotions: frustration when losing, happiness to successfully finish a mission, angriness over an unfair or puzzling situation. Players all react differently during their gaming adventures, and it’s a major challenge to understand what makes the audience vibrate or, on the other hand, abandon the game. We wondered how to address this issue and be able to see what is on the other side of the screen; with the goal to create an engaging, long-term successful game, whose understand perfectly the audience expectations.

Put your users at the center of your studies

The main challenge when creating a game is to not forget the audience as the game evolution keeps growing. Throughout the long journey of game development, many changes come and go: these changes must be done respecting testers and players opinions. Game developers don’t always have time nor resources to get to know how their audience is going to react to those changes. They imagine, they think, but the most qualified people to talk about video games are the ones playing it, experiencing it. Their behavior and emotions can be seen as a book written in a foreign language: despite not understandable at the first sight, there is a way to decipher it. To solve that issue and take into account the audience view, a solution for companies in the video game industry is to turn more and more into biometric technologies (meaning the measurement of the human behavior through statistical means).

A few years ago, an interesting article published in the MIT technology review pointed out the rise of videogames that keep track of the user’s heart rate. Not only to bring innovation to the videogame industry, but also to identify what are the players most exciting moments. Innovations of this kind give the opportunity to players to analyze their experience, get information about their emotional moments during gameplay and learn to handle stressful situations. An interesting experience for the players, who are becoming more and more numerous, with greater expectations and increased experience. Video games have reached an important popularity, illustrated by the emergence of streaming services like Twitch, gaming tools as Discord, or the professionalization of videogames (e-sport). In fact, there are lot of virtues for players to use emotional analytics; improving competitiveness, control emotions better, and, to a greater extent, also change positively the negative behaviour they can have in real-life situations.

Predict trends and abandonment risks

Records generated during gameplay are beneficial not only to video game users, but most importantly to game developers. Through detailed data analysis, it is today possible to understand what is working and what is not.To use experience analytics does not apply only to the game developers products. It’s also a way to analyze competitors performance and see what performs the best. Take a look at what the neighbour has done in order to do even better could be a good summary. Game developers must know what are their weaknesses compared to their – successful – competitors in order to develop the most engaging content possible.

It’s actually all about giving players the best experience possible: good experience means customers retention, retention means larger audience and greater profit. That’s a simple calculation, isn’t it ?

Integrate Gamers Experience Analytics

If you wish to learn more about emotional analytics and user experience, SEKG has set up an online platform to predict trends, based on the gaming experience, in order to understand how players interact with their games and what are the most important moments during gameplay. Data generated is saved, analysed, and directly accessible by the user of the service. A vision for the future to put the player’s gaming experience and biometrics at the center of game development.

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