5 Metrics Every Game Should Track

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In our last post, we talked about how player segmentation works and what it can be used for. Now we’re going to go over a few metrics that you’ll need to feed into your segmentation engine so it can be leveraged in your engagement and monetization initiatives.

1. Acquisition and Retention

First and foremost, you’re going to want to know how many players are installing your game day-to-day. Having these numbers recorded at launch will let you predict what sort of traffic you can expect from similar launches in the future. After that, keep track of how long they stick around. Major publishers consider retention to be the most important metric, as it’s not only necessary for predicting ROI-positive acquisitions, but can also be considered an accurate indication of just how much players are enjoying your game.

2. Player Level

Levels (in one form or another) have been the standard for dividing content and growth along a linear axis for as long as video games have been around. Whether it’s the experience level of a player’s avatar in an RPG or the highest level completed in a puzzle game, make sure you have a single integer that can serve as the top-level indicator of how far players are progressing through your game content. Combined with the knowledge of what specific challenges are included in each level, you’ll be able to craft relevant engagement offers that keep your players coming back.

3. Currency/Resource Balances

Almost all games in the top grossing charts feature some kind of a virtual economy, and top grossing publishers know the importance of tracking how your players are behaving within it. A player’s currency balance is the metric most closely tied to engagement because it directly affects how much your players are able to do in your game.

Wealthy users are free to upgrade their bases or purchase consumable power-ups, while poor users often have to wait on timers before they can get back to the fun. Reminding wealthy players that they have currency to spend is a great way to reclaim lapsed segments, and offering broke players discounted IAPs can be an effective conversion strategy.

4. Conversion

As soon as any player completes an IAP in a free-to-play game, they’re considered “converted”. Being able to differentiate between your converted and non-converted players is the first step in building a successful player-centric game. It provides a high-level understanding of how effectively you’re monetizing players through IAPs and lets you start working towards more powerful monetization strategies.

It has become a best-practice that converting on any IAP should disable non-rewarded ads, and many publishers simply handle this client-side. This might get the job done, but it limits the ability to control ad frequency and doesn’t leave any options open for building anything other than a binary monetization strategy, which can mean leaving money on the table. Fuse’s Player-Centric Platform offers full control over ad frequency across different segments directly in your dashboard.

5. Total IAP Spend

The next step is knowing who your high-rollers are by tracking every IAP on a per-player basis. Segmenting your players according to how much they’ve spent is the key to building a robust free-to-play title. By crafting offers that appeal to the needs of your player segments and delivering those offers at the optimal time and place, player-centric games have been able to exceed benchmark stats and push their way into the top grossing charts. Out of the box, you should be tracking your minnows, dolphins and whales, but keep in mind that a whale at level 10 has different needs than a whale at level 30. Player-centric games need to segment players by value and progress if they want to be effective.

We’ll be providing player-centric design resources for segmenting players by value and progress in the weeks to come. Follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates: @FusePowered

 

Evan Fradley-Pereira
Marketing Manager at Fuse Powered
Evan is an award-winning game designer, prolific blogger, and an adequate Hearthstone player.
He creates podcasts, videos, and articles that help people make better games.

You can contact him on Twitter at @fp_evan

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