Free-to-play game development is all about having intelligent analytics, and one developer in this space has made an acquisition to help it get important data.

Big Viking Games, the developer of the casual game YoWorld, has purchased Gallop Labs, a data-science startup. Gallop works with companies like The New York Times, Accuweather, and the Royal Bank of Canada to help them understand how their web audiences are behaving. This data is crucial for tuning an app or website to see what features are keeping people engaged — and to see what’s turning people off. Big Viking bringing that kind of data research in-house means that it can now quickly build and adjust its games to the tastes of its players, and that could help the company as it looks for new ways to capture a larger slice of the casual-gaming market.

In a canned statement, Big Viking chief executive Albert Lai explained that Gallop is a worthy investment because it has a track record of “turning data into actionable audience insights.” That jargon basically means that Gallop can point out not just when people are turning off an app, but it can explain why and what the developer can do about it.

And in an industry where acquiring new players is growing more and more expensive, building games with a focus on retention is a key way to keep costs in line.

Of course, with Gallop on board, Big Viking won’t keep that science power all for itself. The company has confirmed that it will use this in an effort to publish third-party games as well.