You can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are or where you have been.
Whether you are trying to boost profits, retain more players, drive player engagement, or attract new players, game analytics are critical to your success. These essential tools will help you pinpoint what you need to improve and track whether your improvements are getting the results you want.
Game companies have more data at their fingertips than ever before. However, turning that data into useful information can be challenging. While there are countless analytics tools out there such as Amplitude, Mixpanel, Segment, most of them are very similar in features and capabilities. Here we focus on five tools which are quite different from each other. Comparing them will help you decide what's best for you.
Firebase is an app development platform powered by Google. Firebase’s Release & Monitor products help developers improve the quality and stability of their game apps. It includes tools to help you prioritize and fix stability issues, track feature adoption and user acquisition, and monitor your game’s performance.
Firebase’s Engage products help you analyze who is playing your game and what they are doing while playing or interacting with your game’s user interface. It includes A/B testing tools you can use to test new features or game tweaks to determine how they impact your metrics.
There is also a native integration with Google BigQuery so that the raw Firebase events data can be exported to BigQuery for easy analysis.
Firebase determines pricing based on how much you use the various features, which allows you to start small at no cost and then pay as you go when you start using the tools more.
Pros: App development platform that also provides analytics tracking, so instrumenting the SDK is more seamless. Prebuilt data pipeline.
Cons: Using the default BigQuery tables for Firebase can be challenging due to nested structures. You still need to create the reports yourself.
Other similar analytics tools : unity
The Looker game analytics tool is part of the Google Cloud platform and offers a variety of tools to help you optimize your games.
With Looker’s gameplay metrics tools, you can track your critical KPIs and gain insights that will help you make better decisions. You can use the tool to optimize your campaign spending to boost revenue. The tools also help you create better ads and feature them at the optimal time and in the optimal places.
Use Looker’s query tools to identify problem points in your game that cause players to quit playing. Monitor your KPIs to determine what you need to do to keep your game’s economy balanced. Create better experiences for your users by making changes based on the insights you gain.
Game analytics involves a mixture of analyzing gameplay elements and customer behaviors. Use Looker to identify players that are the best fit for your games and have the highest lifetime value. Use cohort analysis to analyze deep trends that can help you make better product decisions.
Looker offers multiple plans, but you must request a quote to get pricing information. The company also offers a free trial.
Pros: Can customize and standardize dimensions and metrics, so every body uses the same definitions.
Cons: You need to set up a separate data pipeline so that Looker can access the data. Complex to set up the initial metadata correctly. You still to create the reports yourself.
Other similar analytics tools : tableau, mode analytics, holistics, apache superset
Smartlook provides visual user insights and comprehensive product analytics. The creators designed it to be easy to set up and use. Smartlook automatically calculates your daily and monthly active users. This data is useful when computing your stickiness ratio and estimating how engaged your users are.
Use Smartlook’s Retention Tables to track how many of your users continue to log in on a day-to-day basis to analyze your retention rate.
Create custom events to track completed transactions in real or in-game currency to help you balance your game’s economy and optimize your monetization strategies. Build and analyze funnels to track your users’ journey and determine where along the way customers are dropping out of transactions.
Use the session recordings tools to analyze what players are doing while they play and identify improvements you can make to optimize the gameplay experience and drive more sales. All of Smartlook’s plans include a free 30-day trial. After that, plans start at $55 per month.
Pros: Standard reports provide a good starting point to understand your game performance. Low cost.
Cons: Difficult to create custom analysis. Separate SDK from game backend.
Other similar analytics tools : amplitude, mixpanel, braze
App Analytics is a app analytics tool on the Apple mobile platform that features specialized analytics for developers that publish games and apps to the Apple app store. Use App Analytics to measure your app’s performance and gain unique insights into how people find and engage with your game.
View how many people find your app while browsing or searching in the app store and which websites are sending customers to your product page. You can also measure first-time, total, and redownloads and your App Store conversion rate.
Measure how your marketing campaigns perform across multiple channels, such as email, social media, and paid advertising. Analyze data about your in-app events and how many downloads and redownloads they drive.
Sort your metrics by source type, territory, and device. Track user engagement by viewing the number of installations, active devices, and sessions and view crash and deletion data. Analyze how your actions impact revenue by tracking the number of unique paying users by day, week, or month.
You can also track pre-orders, sales trends, and subscription activity. The App Analytics tools are part of your Apple Developer Program membership and require no additional payment or technical implementation.
Pros: Basic reports available out of the box; benchmarking reports let you compare with other apps and games. No additional cost. No separate SDK.
Cons: Only works on apple devices. Lacks ability to create deeper analysis since custom user events are not available.
Countly is a flexible product analytics platform that emphasizes privacy. Unlike the tools mentioned above, Countly provides for different deployment options, from self-host to using their cloud hosted version.
Countly features behavior analytics tools that help you create an outstanding experience for your players and product analytics tools that help you deliver it. Additionally, its retention and engagement features help you turn short-term retention into long-term loyalty.
The Community Edition is open source and free. The Enterprise edition features customizable pricing.
Pros : Self hosting option to control your own data.
Cons : Few out-of-the-box game industry specific reports. Free community edition only allows aggregated data.
Other similar analytics tools : Matoma, PostHog
Game analytics are critical to your success and there are a variety of useful tools you can use to accomplish your goals. However, not every developer has the resources to devote to crunching all the numbers.
At Sonamine, we are experts at combining cutting-edge data science with hands-on implementation to create end-to-end solutions for your games. Contact us to get started.
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