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Introduction to Analytics

Introduction to Analytics

Nov 02 2018, 4:36 PM PST

Analytics involves collecting and analyzing data to identify where your game is performing strongly or where it could be improved. Using analytics to inform and improve your creative design can help make your games more successful and enjoyable for players.

In this article, we will introduce key concepts and measurements, or metrics, around using analytics in your game development process.


Engagement

Engagement is a measure of how invested players are in your game. A player is considered “engaged” if they are actively playing and have an emotional, psychological, or monetary investment in your game. Highly engaged players represent your core player base and are more likely to become paying players.

Term Definition
Daily Active Users (DAU) The number of unique players playing your game in a day.
Monthly Active Users (MAU) The total number of unique players who play your game in a month.
DAU/MAU Ratio Calculated by dividing the average DAU in a month by the total MAU for that month. This ratio can be interpreted as the percentage of days in a month that an average player plays your game or as the percentage of your monthly players that play your game every day.

DAU represented over time can help indicate whether players are consistently engaging with and returning to your game (related to retention). DAU can shift rapidly as a result of new features or content that you release and is a good way to measure the impact of updates on your players.

MAU can be grown or maintained by providing regular updates that motivate your players to remain in the game and addressing any issues that cause players to leave (such as bugs that cause crashes or buggy states).

The DAU/MAU Ratio is a more useful indicator of player engagement than DAU or MAU alone. If your DAU/MAU ratio is high, that means that players are frequently engaging with your game throughout the month. For example, a DAU/MAU ratio of 50% over a 30-day month means that your average player logs in and plays 15 days of the month; or, that half of your players that month played every day.


Retention

Retention is a measure of how many of your players return to the game again after their first visit. Higher retention means that more of your players are motivated to come back after trying out your game for the first time. Frequent updates and content releases are one way to keep players coming back for more. Daily bonuses are another retention mechanic to inspire login streaks.

Daily Retention

Daily retention is a good way to understand how “sticky” your game is to players. If your goal is to make your game a regular habit for players, daily retention is a key metric for you to monitor.

Term Definition
Day 0 (D0) References the day on which a new player first played your game.
Day n (Dn) References the nth day after Day 0, where n is a number. For example, Day 1 is the day after Day 0, and Day 7 is the seventh day after Day 0.
Day n Retention The percentage of new players who return to the game on Day n.

Day 1 (D1) Retention indicates how many new players are motivated to return to your game the day after they begin playing and is one of the most important retention metrics you can track. High Day 1 retention often leads to higher overall retention for your game.

If your Day 1 Retention is low or declines, that usually indicates that your first-time player experience needs to be improved. You may be losing new players early in your game because of issues with your tutorial or user interface, a lack of immediate rewards, or a too-steep initial progression curve.

One of the best ways to identify possible issues that you can fix to improve your D1 Retention is to observe first-time player experiences. You can integrate analytic events into your new experience flow to see where players are dropping out.

Tracking Day n Retention for later days can help you understand how long players generally continue to return to your game. This is useful when you are trying to balance progression and economy.

Weekly Retention

Weekly retention is a more forgiving metric than daily retention. It counts a player as “retained” if they return at any point during a given week, while daily retention counts a player as “retained” if they return on the specific day being tracked. Weekly retention is useful to track if your game is more casual and does not necessarily require players to engage with your game on a daily basis.

Term Definition
Week 0 (W0) References the week following the first time a new player played your game (Day 0 to Day 6).
Week n (Wn) References the nth week following Week 0. For example, Week 1 is the week after Week 0.
Week n Retention The percentage of new players who return to the game at any point during Week n.

Similarly to Day 1 retention, a low or declining Week 1 retention can indicate that there are issues with your first-time player experience or initial progression curve. If your W0 retention is high, but your W1 retention is low, that could indicate that your game is initially engaging players, but that players are burning through content within a week or hitting a progression wall within a week that discourages them from returning the second week.


Monetization

Monetization refers to your ability to earn money from players. Monetization encompasses your in-game shop and related user interfaces, purchase flows, and up-sell mechanics, as well as progression balancing, item valuation, in-game economy, and overall design.

Term Definition
Revenue The total amount of Robux earned by your game before any fees or costs are taken into account.
Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) The average number of Robux that a unique player spends in your game. Calculated by dividing revenue by the number of unique players in your game.
Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) The average number of Robux that a unique paying player spends in your game. Calculated by dividing revenue by the number of unique paying players in your game.
Conversion Rate The percentage of your players who have spent Robux in your game.

Revenue, or total Robux earned, is the easiest metric to track for monetization. Knowing how many of your players are willing to pay money in your game and how much your players are willing to spend, among other key metrics, will allow you to understand the health of the monetization in your game and to adjust your monetization strategy more effectively.

Where Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) represents the worth or value of a player in your game, the Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) reflects the quality of monetization in your game.

ARPU and ARPPU is most useful when considered alongside your conversion rate. Conversion rate reflects how well you are able to motivate players to spend money in your game.

If you have a high conversion rate, for example, and a low ARPPU, that indicates that you are good at getting players to buy at least one item in your game, but that there is little beyond that initial purchase that inspires further spending. Understanding what is inspiring that first-time purchase and examining its value could help you determine what content you need to create to inspire more purchases.

A low conversion rate and high ARPPU, on the other hand, could mean that you have expensive, but valuable items that only players with big pockets can afford to buy. Introducing lower-priced items with high value, such as starter packs, could help inspire more purchases from players with less to spend.

In general, players who buy something in your game once are more likely to buy again. Understanding what’s valuable in your game to players can help you figure out what to sell, how to set prices for players with varying wallet sizes, and how to design progression and economy to encourage that first purchase, and then to create longer-term paying users.

Tags:
  • analytics
  • revenue
  • metrics
  • monetization
  • engagement
  • retention