Changing the Game: How Data Science has Transformed the Games Industry
The interactive entertainment industry has grown dramatically in the past decade and is recently projected to reach 230 billion USD in global yearly revenue, making it one of the super-heavyweight sectors in entertainment. Estimates place the number of people worldwide who currently play computer games at over 4 billion.
Tracking detailed interaction behaviour from this number of people results in truly massive datasets. With the rapid growth and innovation in the sector, data has come to the forefront as a means for informing decision making. This has in turn spurred the evolution of the domain of Game Data Science – a cross-disciplinary area that merges perspectives from multiple academic domains to help the Creative Industries make sense – and use – of the rapidly growing data space. Given the constant changes in games, the people who play them and the communities that support them, data from games tend to be volatile, requiring that they be acted on rapidly.
In addition to supporting the industry, the data from video games and gamified applications has permitted Game Data Science to target a broad variety of research questions, from exploring human behaviour to developing new algorithms for real-time analytics, as well as exploring mental health and global cultural shifts.
Game Data Science has had a direct impact on the interactive entertainment industry within the past few years, as the practice of tracking and analysing the behaviour of players and processes has emerged as a key component of game development in this age of mobile platforms, increased game persistence and non-retail-based revenue models.
In this DIREC Talk, Anders Drachen will dive into Game Data Science, explaining what makes games unique and the changes in the industry that build them. A central focus of the presentation will be the user, the player, who is alfa and omega for the success of games, whether they are intended for entertainment or educational purposes.
Drachen will also cover:
- the brief but turbulent history of data science applied in games.
- the current state of the art in the sector.
- the fundamental approaches toward problem-solving and the knowledge discovery process inherent in the domain.
- examples of how Game Data Science operates in practice. The Innovate UK Demonstrator Project Weavr will be presented, which has delivered ground-breaking new data-driven visualisations to esports stakeholders.
Key takeaways from this DIREC Talk
- An overview of the role of data science in the games industry
- Some of the cross-disciplinary challenges and opportunities that have emerged in this fast-evolving area
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN DENMARK