Five Key Roles Played by Data & Analytics in CTV Game Development
The world might seem in an increasingly difficult place right now, but there’s not that much that any of us can do about it, so why stress? If you can’t change something, there is no point in worrying too much about it, and the good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to make your life less stressful and more enjoyable. Everyone has their own interests, of course and for us, nothing beats the all out fun of sitting around a smart TV and playing connected television (CTV) video games, especially those thrilling games like Crazino or other games to relax after work.
CTV video gaming has come a long way over the last decade; it’s gone from being a niche interest to a multi-million dollar industry that spans the globe. A number of factors have contributed to the explosive rise in the popularity of CTV, including the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased access to smart TVs, and other factors. Perhaps the most important, however, is the role played by high-level data and analytics in video game development.
Thanks to the improved development of data analysis during video game development, CTV gaming content has reached a level that would have been impossible just a few years ago. CTV video games are now more customizable and more data-secured, with higher overall performance and a better understanding of the player than ever. Let’s take a look in more detail.
1) Improved understanding of player behavior
For much of video gaming’s history, the process of creating a high-quality experience for the player was linear in one direction; the game would be developed to meet expected consumer demand and then published. In this scenario, the user’s experience could only be improved via new titles; there was little that could be done to improve the existing game. As time went on, technology was improved so that patches, mods, and other improvements could be made to games after they came out, but this process would still be a slow process.
CTV video gaming takes this to the next level. For starters, data about user behavior is curated in real-time by the analytics programs that run in the backend of the games in question, creating insights on factors such as average time spent playing, user interactions, time spent on specific levels, etc. This information is then analyzed to generate reports about how gamers play, what they find easy or more challenging, and so on.
Let’s take an example – Players report enjoying a specific game, but an analytics report highlights that many of them spent too long completing a single level within it; it proved to be too challenging, and many signed out in frustration. In the past, this would either have been impossible to fix or would have had to be improved via a patch or some other update, which would take a long time to create and set up.
Thanks to the data and analytics tools that come as part of CTV-based video gaming, the developers can simply enter the backend of the game and tweak the offending level in fine detail. They can reduce its overall difficulty, add loot crates, shorten its duration, the list goes on.
This has two positive results. First, the gamer gets to enjoy a better playing experience overall; Secondly, the developer ensures that their content remains enjoyable and engaging, significantly reducing the risk of reduced sales.
2) Personalized gaming experiences
The demand for personalized experiences in video gaming is higher than ever as users have come to expect a certain level of customization while they are playing. Personalization began with minor adjustments like a character’s aesthetic experience or background story, which then evolved into how their actions would determine a game’s outcome. The Mass Effect series is a good example, as these games allowed the player to change the appearance and gender of the main character while also providing multiple possible reactions to ongoing events, creating a unique storyline.
CTV-based gaming is increasingly able to provide the personalized gaming experience consumers want, and while that was initially based on aesthetic changes, gaming content developed for this medium is now able to offer a highly individualized experience. Game developers can now examine factors like the demographics of players, in-game behavior, duration spent playing, etc. to fine-tune their content. This can appear in the form of in-game rewards or updated settings, but it can also come as tailored advertising content.
Video game developers need advertisements for their content to help generate profit, and while many gamers would prefer not to see ads at all, they’re an essential part of the industry. Thanks to the increased personalization options offered by CTV data and analysis, marketers are able to provide ad content that’s more relevant. This minimizes the risk of putting gamers off with unhelpful, poor-quality ads.
According to the 4A’s foundation, if players are provided with high-quality ads that meet their standards, they are highly likely to report overall better gaming experiences. The foundation also points to a case study involving the Prada Candy partnership, which used high-quality ads to generate an 1813% increase in web traffic. As such it’s clear to see how understanding your audience better can lead to increased profits and revenue, which is only achievable thanks to improved data and analytics.
3) Enhanced game performance
CTV games started out as fairly simple, much in the same way that the very first video games like Pacman and Pong were very basic in their format, so for a while, high performance wasn’t something that was seen as a priority. As the wider CTV industry progressed so did the quality of games, which in turn began to increase the pressure on developers to ensure that their products could perform at a higher level. This process would not have been possible without the assistance of data analysis, which was able to boost game performance via a number of key metrics.
Performance Optimization: Data analysis makes it easy to examine how well games functioned overall to identify potential issues like lagging, slow loading times, frame rates, etc. The results of this analysis can then be used to rapidly create solutions to the identified issues that can then be added to the game.
Network Optimization: It’s one thing to play a low-quality game that performs poorly in turn; it’s another altogether to play a high-performance game with bad network connection. CTV data and analysis can help reduce the impact of connectivity problems by optimizing game design and architecture by providing content cashing with data compression, to ensure that network disruption is minimal.
Performance Testing: Even if a game is published with the ability to meet the highest possible performance standards, the situation can change over time. That’s why CTV platforms and content publishers can now carry out consistent testing of video game performance to ensure that the player will be able to enjoy their favorite content reliably for a longer time.
4) Content Creation Based on Predictive Analysis
One of the most interesting aspects of data analytics in the CTV industry is predictive analytics. It uses historical data to forecast potential scenarios that can help drive strategic and tactical decisions, allowing CTV content producers, advertisers, platform owners, and others to be able to identify and prepare for changes in consumer behavior. It can also be used to better understand what forms of content will be more popular in the future, or, in the case of video gaming, which types and genres of games will be in higher demand.
By using predictive analysis, video game developers are able to forecast with considerable accuracy the best possible markets and demographics to target with their content. However, it should be noted that this technology goes beyond just the types of games people want to play; it can also be used to improve the developer’s understanding of how audiences will change the way they play video games, with whom, and for how long. A good example of this in the current CTV gaming industry is the increasing popularity of multiplayer games.
Multiplayer games have increasingly gone online as players battle their friends without sharing the experience together in person. While this format will remain popular with a large number of users, in-person multiplayer games are becoming more widespread again, especially with CTV users. Predictive analysis was able to highlight this trend two years ago as people began to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns; they wanted to play video games with their friends again.
However, they wanted to do it in person for the ‘real touch’ factor. Based on the results of this evaluation, developers working in the CTV industry started to develop content that would facilitate in-person multiplayer, games that could appeal to both casual and hardcore users thanks to high-quality visuals, simple-to-use controllers, and dynamic difficulty settings.
5) Better Data and Privacy Protection
Consumers are more aware than ever of the importance of protecting their personal data, and they demand that their privacy be protected to the highest possible level. It’s a non-negotiable issue.
There are multiple threats to data privacy and security that can affect almost anyone, from phishing and account hacking to new challenges based on emerging technology like AI-driven identity theft. Once it would have been sufficient for players to simply remember their password, now they have to contend with their voice possibly being copied to be used in deep fakes.
Cybercriminals are not always losers sitting in their mother’s basements with nothing better to do; they are increasingly sophisticated criminal organizations with multiple international operations. That’s why it’s crucially important for video game developers, as well as the CTV platforms and services that publish their content, to properly ensure that users’ personal information is protected to the highest possible degree. Thanks to improvements in data analysis technologies, this process is now significantly easier.
A good example of how game developers are using data and analysis to improve their data security is the degree to which they are deploying encryption for their content, which works by scrambling details into a secret code that can only be unlocked with a unique digital key. Developers have also adapted their working practices to adhere to national and/or international data regulation standards, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides rules on data protection and assistance for doing so.
The greatest responsibility for data protection lies with the players themselves, as even if developers provide the best possible security on the market, players still have to adopt the best practices too. Game developers can help their customers by making their encryption processes strong, but simplified, with an easy to use interface to add an additional layer of security.
There’s Much More to Come in CTV Video Gaming
What is most exciting about the development of CTV-based video gaming is how much is yet to come in this industry. With the improvement of existing development technology and the addition of more data and analytics tools in the future, every year is likely to see an exponential increase in the quality and number of CTV video games. The format is becoming increasingly popular with all sorts of demographic groups, and it is becoming more accessible day by day.
The industry wouldn’t be in the enviable position it currently occupies without the harnessing of data analytics, and a special shout-out to creators like developers of Crazino for pushing the boundaries of entertainment. Here’s to more exciting developments in the near future too, as it becomes simpler than ever to understand factors like player behavior, how to enhance overall game performance, and how to protect data security.
New possibilities are always on the horizon in the CTV industry, and video gaming is going to be at the vanguard of new tech development, so we look forward to seeing what’s coming up next. In the meantime, have fun gaming!