Data is power. Indie devs use it to increase game monetization.

How Indie Game Devs Use Data to Make More Money

  • User Playtime: how much game time was played for each user, cohorts of users, and in aggregate? What is the average time per player in each percentile (e.g., what’s the average play time for the top 20% of users vs. the bottom 20%)? Is user playtime increasing, decreasing, or static? As you get deeper into the data, you’ll be able to pair playtime data with game features to know where playtime increases and drop-off typically happens.
  • In-Game Activity / Heatmaps: where are players when they take specific actions? Is one element of the game overpowered? Is there an area in the game where players are losing too quickly? Heatmaps pinpoint specifically where activity happens in your game and eliminate the need for forensic work to apply data insights.
  • Daily Activity: it’s critical to understand trends for daily active users (DAU) and how they engage with the game. While data is interesting in aggregate, successful game developers use a dashboard to track this continuously.
  • Feature Usage: which features get the most attention? Which get the least attention?
  • Onboarding: are you players registering easily, or are they dropping off? Is that a sign of a registration process that’s too complicated, or not clear enough? Can you provide better instruction, or perhaps offer rewards to keep the players engaged through the onboarding process.
  • Churn: How many users play once and never come back? Are there trends that highlight common drop-off points?
  • In-app purchases (IAP): track who’s buying, what are they buying, where in the game are they buying it. Know what’s popular and what’s not when it comes to purchases.
  • Social Mechanics: identify the popular features of your game so you can add social elements that will encourage players to increase activity.
  • Ad Performance: are the location of third-party ads timing correctly with the players’ experience? Are players seeing ads and quitting? Armed with this information, you can balance player experience with monetization channels.
  • Platforms: mobile vs. desktop, Android vs. iOS…what are your players using?
  • Events: track events for IAP, ads, levels, virtual currencies, or use your own custom events.

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