Latest news and updates from the PlayFab developers

by Hanna Oh Descher, Senior Data Scientist 2018-01-18

Introducing Daily Engagement Reports

With over 1,200 games live on PlayFab, we know the hard work doesn’t end at launch: it’s just the beginning. To maximize a game’s potential to connect with players, keep them engaged, and earn revenue, you need to track your game’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Today we’re proud to announce our new daily engagement reports, which studio administrators will start to receive via email this week.

These reports are designed to provide easy access to your game’s critical KPIs at a glance. In addition to daily engagement and revenue metrics, you’ll also see your Top 10 Spenders and Items.

Alongside these emails, we’ve also augmented the set of  pre-generated reports in the Analytics section of the Game Manager. You’ll find links to all of these in the daily engagement report  email, so it’s easy to dive deeper if you want to dig into a trend to understand it better. As part of this change, we’ve also streamlined the report list; the Seven Day retention and conversion reports will be retired on Jan 31, since all the information in these reports is included in the new Thirty Day reports.

Engagement Metrics

Once your game is live, it’s critical to understand how successful your game is at attracting and retaining players. The key audience metrics to track are Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU), which are the number of unique players who logged in to your game at least once within the last 24 hours (DAU) or 30 days (MAU). These KPIs provide a snapshot of changes in your player base over time. As you launch and drive customer acquisition campaigns, you will want to monitor how your DAU is trending. We’ve now included DAU and rolling 30 day MAU metrics on your Dashboard.

In order to understand the return on investment for user acquisition, you also need to have a clear sense of your ability to retain players over time. Day 1 and Day 7 retention show you the percentage of new players on a given day who returned the next day or on the same day one week later, after their initial engagement. A positive retention trend indicates that your game is successful at transitioning new players to become a part of a stable player base, and you can use your retention stats to help you model out how much you can afford to spend on various user acquisition channels.

Revenue Metrics

If your game derives revenues from commerce, you’ll also need to track conversion closely to understand how effective you are at turning players into purchasers. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) measures the revenue you make, per player, across your active customer base on a given day (i.e., DAU). Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) considers only the subset of players who have completed a purchase in your game.

Motivating a player to spend real money in a game is a challenging problem. Offering an amazing item at a significantly discounted price could be an effective way to lower players’ resistance to making their first conversion - but you need to balance that against the risk of cannibalizing purchases your big spenders would have made at full price. That’s why it’s important to look at your conversion statistics by cohort (e.g. new vs. existing players) to make sure you’re stimulating the right behavior in the right group. Following our Daily Top 10 reports (see below) can also help you see what’s selling and understand what your players want to buy so you can plan future changes to your economy.

Top 10

If your game has more than 10 players who have purchased something, you will see the Top 10 Spenders in your daily email. These are the “whales” for your game - they contribute the most to your bottom line. It is worth analyzing individual players to see if you can detect any common patterns or behaviors that you can use to incentivize more purchases from other players. For example, on what items are they spending their virtual currency? Are there a set of popular items across the top 10 spenders? Are items that tend to be purchased ones that speed up progress, improve certain abilities, or make them more powerful? Identifying patterns can help you design future promotions or events that can instigate more spending from your other players, as well as increase revenue you gain from your whales. It’s also worth rewarding your top spenders to keep them engaged and enthusiastic about your game.

The Top 10 Spenders list can also help you detect anomalies. For example, a unusually high spend or big fluctuation in spending might indicate an issue with in app purchases.

Understanding your Top 10 Items also helps you identify what is popular and informs future promotions or events. You could offer a discount on a popular item and send an email to lapsed players to re-engage them. In addition, it helps you measure the effectiveness of a promotion or discounted item by whether its position in your top 10 has changed. Together with DAU and retention numbers, you can see if this change improved customer engagement during the promotion period.

Daily email reports are just one of many PlayFab features that help you with LiveOps. We have tutorials on how to run a limited-time event and stand up your first in-app store. With daily email reports you can now track how these boost your players’ engagement, retention, and conversion.