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Kontagent, which makes software to help social app makers make sense of user behavior, is announcing today that its analytics tools are tracking more than 100 million users in social games. That’s triple the number from a year ago.
Albert Lai, co-founder and president of the San Francisco company, said in an interview that it’s a sign of the big competitive battle coming in Facebook games. He knows that there are a ton of established video game companies that are going to launch a ton of social games this year. Those new market entrants desperately need analytics data that can measure every move of their users, since understanding users is key to a feedback cycle that can fix broken games and make them soar.
Kontagent tracks more than 15 billion messages per month with version 2.0 of its Kontagent Social Event Tracking Platform. From Electronic Arts to Konami, everyone is coming to Kontagent because being able to track users is vital to the success of any social game.
Market leaders such as Zynga don’t use Kontagent because they have created their own analytics in the past few years. They use it to find where users are dropping out of a game. Then they fix the game at that point, measure the changes, and move on to the next choke point. This constant measure and fix feedback loop is critical to social games, where audiences can shift by the millions overnight.
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San Francisco-based Kontagent has seen its monthly active user base grow more than 300 percent in the past year. Laid said the majority of publicly traded video game publishers are now Kontagent customers, including EA, Konami, Sony, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, THQ, Perfect World and Tencent. Top indie game studios, including Digital Chocolate, PopCap Games, Gaia, OMGPop and Funzio are also customers.
Many customers signed on in the past three months with the launch of version 2.0 of the platform. Based on what Lai has seen, he predicts that 2011 will be a turning point in the social game industry. So many major brands are moving into the space that Lai believes they will ultimately be successful, grabbing a larger share of the market from the home-grown Facebook game companies such as Zynga.
“I don’t think everyone appreciates just how much competition is moving into this space,” Lai said. “We will see a mix of public companies with big brands and dynamic social startups.”
Mike Sego, CEO of Gaia Online in San Jose, Calif., credited Kontagent for providing critical intelligence with its analytics software. Gaia Online was able to move with confidence from its online game web site to social gaming at a fast pace because it could measure its audience and adjust. Gaia Online now has more than 5 million users on social networks for games such as Monster Galaxy.
Once companies can measure their user base, they can also tweak their games so they can get insights into the user behavior and then figure out how to make money from those users. Analytics is thus key to getting users more quickly and becoming profitable.
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