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9 Metrics You Should Prioritise For Maximum Revenue
With any analytics dashboard, you may find yourself becoming inundated with valuable information. If you want to know what to prioritise to maximise your game's revenue, here are some tips to keep in mind.
With any analytics dashboard, you’re going to get a lot of information, possibly more than you know what to do with. While all of it is valuable in its own way, you’re probably not going to be parsing every detail of each metric or stat on a daily basis, so you need to be aware of the stats that you should prioritise in order to maximise your game’s revenue – and maintain your own sanity! There are some metrics that you should know by heart, but for some they could prove to be a bit much to take a deep dive into on a daily basis.
So without further adieu, these are the metrics you should prioritise if, like most game developers, you want to boost your game’s earning and revenue potential.
1 – Daily Active Users/DAU
For your game to be collecting any kind of revenue at all, first you need players! Keeping an eye on how many people are actively logging on and playing your game every day is important for tracking a game’s “stickiness” level. Knowing how many folks are logging in and playing your game on a given day is an easy thing to track and pay attention throughout your game’s life span – look at how the metric changes over time, as well as how it relates to key marketing efforts and other events that happen around your game.
This may be the most basic metric to look at, but it’s one of the most important – after all, active users are the ultimate source of revenue and the most important key performance indicator (KPI) that you can track! In fact, essentially every other metric or KPI that you track is dependent on this one.
2 – Monthly Active Users/MAU
Day by day stats are useful, but it’s probably more helpful in the long run to look at long term participation. This is why paying attention to monthly active users is helpful – the more data you have to view, the easier it is to discern long term trends.
Granted, you will need a couple months worth of data to truly get a good look at your monthly active users (month over month data will become more valuable as your game gets older), but this metric is perhaps the second most important after DAU, especially once your game has gotten off the ground and been in the market for a while.
3 – ARPDAU
It should probably go without saying that the average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) is pretty important to track – after all, if you’re not earning from your daily users, does it really matter how many there are? Yes, it does, but this metric lets you see how well you are monetising them. Looking at this stat on a monthly or longer term basis also lets you pick out trends and connect the dots backwards in regard to changes, special events, additions, updates, or other important factors in your game’s lifecycle.
This might seem like a no brainer to track when optimising revenue, but it is far from the only thing to look at at, especially when you consider how all the following stats all feed into your game’s ARPDAU and therefore your revenue as a whole.
4 – User Retention Rate
It’s always important to keep your active users around! Closely monitoring the user retention rate is one key way to keep an eye on and optimise your game’s revenue. After all, it’s almost always easier to keep monetising or upgrading a current user than to acquire a new one, so paying attention to your retention rate and how it is affected by any changes or updates that you make to your game (as well as outside events). In fact, user retention could be the most important metric to track in the long run.
That said, you should look at retention in conjunction with the churn rate, since these two metrics are essentially inverse of each other. Which only goes to follow that churn rate is another metric to pay attention too…
5 – Churn Rate
Like your user retention rate, your churn rate is one of the more important things you can pay attention to as a game developer. Essentially the reverse of your retention rate, churn is the number of users who downloaded or installed your game and are now no longer logging in and playing. You can set your own timeline as to when a player is considered “churned” out of your game, but generally setting the time limit for four weeks or twenty-eight days is standard for F2P games.
This is an important metric to track, as if you’re losing more users than you retain, that’s clearly a problem in terms of optimising your revenue! It may also signal a broader problem as well, since a low churn rate is an overall indicator of success for free-to-play games, as well as mobile apps in general.
For some, this will be even more important to track than retention rate. Knowing the percentage of your users that convert – and more importantly when and where they convert – in your game’s environment is key to optimising revenue. It doesn’t get much simpler than understanding when, where, and how conversions work in order to generate more of them.
The “when” and “where” parts of the conversion metric are just as important as the actual conversions themselves. After all, you need to know where you’re gaining and losing revenue, and tracking the conversion rate is what helps you determine that.
7 – Player Behavioural Duration
Measuring player duration – or the time between in-game events like completing levels or challenges. It’s important because knowing how long players took to complete certain levels, get rewards, purchase various items, or engage in other behaviors helps you determine how those behaviors affect revenue. What’s more, it’s also important to know that your players are acting within the timelines that they are expected to complete different tasks or quests within.
Plus, knowing how players operate within your planned timelines is key for understanding how they generate revenue for your game, and this is all related to how often they start, fail, and complete tasks, quests, levels, or events.
8 – Start, Fail, And Complete
A start happens every time a player enters the game – and depending on your game, as well as when they start a new level. For this group of metrics, we can assume that ‘starts’ measure the number of times a player begins a new level or starts the game, a ‘fail’ occurs when a user starts a level or the game but doesn’t complete it, and a ‘complete’ happens when a user finishes a certain level or the game itself.
Keeping track of this group of metrics also helps you to to determine if your game has any unnecessary choke points, like certain levels that tend to generate fails (and therefore potential loss of revenue). You’ll also want to look which levels or points tend to generate the most completes – the ones that users get through particularly quickly, or maybe even go back and repeat.
The former can possibly be a place where you’re missing revenue opportunities (if they play through too quickly, that level or area might be too simple) and the latter can be a point of extra earnings (if users are repeating the same level, you’re doing something right and perhaps you can use its popularity to earn even more revenue). Accordingly, your starts, completes, and fails are a key metric to look at when when you’re looking for missed revenue opportunities.
9 – Player Lifetime Value
The revenue you earn from each player over the course of their lifetime in your game is an important metric in general, but it’s most interesting when it comes to revenue optimisation. Player lifetime value can be complicated to calculate, but it’s essential for understanding your return on investment and therefore your overall revenue potential.
What’s more, knowing who your most valuable players are and performing the associated cohort analysis is essential for revenue optimisation. Because recognising your most valuable players – in terms of the lifetime revenue they bring to your game – is pretty essential to optimising revenue in general.
Quick-Start Your Daily Work Routine With These Revenue Optimisation Metrics
While all the stats tracked and data collected in your analytics are important, these metrics might be the most essential; in fact, an easy quick start to your daily game development routine can and perhaps should be checking these metrics and using them to roadmap your future game development activities. With that in mind, start your dev day off right by checking out these nine metrics and making decisions from there.
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Editor’s Note: this post was originally published by Kalle Heikkinen, Chief Game Analyst at GameRefinery. With almost 400 game analysed under his belt, Kalle has a solid understanding of what works and…
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9 Metrics You Should Prioritise For Maximum Revenue