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Game developers would love to know more about their players and how to target them with the right pitch for virtual goods or game purchases in online, social, or mobile titles. They can’t always do that due to privacy reasons, but game startup Playnomics has figured out a way to do it via anonymous data collection. And today, the company is launching its PlayRM predictive customer relationship management (CRM) platform for games.
Call it player audience management. PlayRM is like other CRM tools that enterprises use, but it’s built for games and their inner workings. PlayRM includes a suite of tools to identify players in category groups, such as free players, shooter fans, or “whales” (gamers who spend a lot). It can then sort them into groups that allow them to be targeted more easily. And that lets game developers figure out which players are most likely to spend money in a game or buy a certain kind of virtual good.
“You have to think of every single player as a possible long-term customer,” said Chethan Ramachandran, the chief executive of Playnomics, which won our Who’s Got Game? contest for the best game startup in 2010, in an interview with GamesBeat. “We see this as the nerve center of a modern game.”
The suite includes the PlayRM Segmentation Engine, which divides users into groups; the PlayRM Messaging Engine, which allows a developer to place a custom promotion in front of a player; and the PlayRM Player Marketplace, which allows developers to market their games to Playnomics’ audience of 35 million monthly active users. All together, these tools produce marked improvement in player retention, with targeted users spending 150 percent more in their first week.
“PlayRM gives game developers a completely new way to manage their players and create a profitable game,” said Ramachandran. “Our goal is to optimize all steps of the player life cycle — from finding and acquiring the right players for a specific game to retaining and targeting players in the game with personalized incentives. This is why we’ve launched the PlayRM Messaging Engine and Player Marketplace: to build upon our release earlier this year of our proprietary player Scoring System. In contrast to generic analytics platforms, PlayRM was designed from the ground up to manage player relationships and revenue, maximizing the value of each player dramatically.”
Rivals include analytics firms like Flurry, Kontagent, and Apsalar, or monetization firms like PlayHaven. Rich Roberts, the chief executive of Slingo, said that PlayRM gives the company a simple and powerful way to understand which players are most valuable and then act on that insight.
At the heart of PlayRM platform is Playnomics’ predictive PlayScience Engine, which enables game developers to finely slice and dice player data across an infinite number of dimensions. The engine scores each player across multiple facets that measure loyalty, attention, intensity, and monetization. It also captures personality scores (social, competitor, and explorer) and other aspects. The data are handled in a way that preserves anonymity and privacy, said Ramachandran.
“Our mission at Playnomics is to transform the economics of the game industry and give every type of game company — both big and small — the tools and the player insight to find the right audience for building a sustainable, thriving game,” said Ramachandran.
Playnomics was founded in 2009 and is based in San Francisco. Investors include FirstMark Capital, Accelerator Ventures, x/Seed Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, and TriplePoint Capital.