Why do normal people get addicted to World of Warcraft? They lose their social life, often their health, playing for days on end.
The answer is the reward system. The brain fights for hits of dopamine that are delivered when a challenge or trial is overcome. The regular hits of dopamine keep the user hooked.
The trick is to ensure games players experience the right mix of challenge and reward. GamesAnalytics is the firm helping games firms perfect the formula.
GamesAnalytics analyses player performance in real time, using advanced data mining and predictive modelling to segment and act on various different player behaviours simultaneously.
For example, if two players with different skill levels are playing the same game, one of them might find a particular level quite challenging. The GamesAnalytics platform works by reaching out to that player in real time using its in-game messaging platform, offering them personalised help and advice or the opportunity to purchase some additional features such as a new sword or magic potion.
By understanding how different types of players play a game, publishers can engage with them in real time with messages that reflect their level of competency or playing styles, dramatically improving player engagement and satisfaction.
The result? Seriously addictive games. Each month GA’s analyses the performance of more than 20 million players, for major publishers including the BBC, Bigpoint, Mech Warrior/IGP, fiveonenine, 505Games and Players Rock.
The next stage is to translate these insights into other fields, such as making TV shows or work tasks just as irresistible. GamesAnalytics will find a lucrative field there when it chooses to expand into it.