Knowing your game
How electronic game companies use Big Data for retention and monetization
A recent Boston Globe business article describes 23 year old Steve Serge as a star. Not just because “STAR” is the player name he uses during his online gaming sessions, but also because he’s a celebrity - with hundreds of thousands of fans watching him play live on Twitch.tv, or watching his recorded Team Fortress 2 sessions.¹ In the rapidly growing and evolving world of online gaming, there are many more like him, ace gamers with the kind of skill that attracts attention from all over world.
It shouldn’t surprise us that online games have become a spectator sport. Like all forms of game - from football, to poker, to chess - the entertainment afforded by electronic gaming begins at an individual level, frequently expands to team participation, and, as appreciation grows for the skills involved, a game can attract hordes of people who just want to watch. One name for this aspect of electronic gaming is “eSports.” In October 2013, the Staples Center in Los Angeles sold out within one hour for the popular online game “League of Legends” finals. Move over, LA Lakers.