Casual game publisher Arkadium says it’s seeing strong growth for its Microsoft Windows 8 titles, and today it’s showing off a new analytics program that could help others find similar success.
Arkadium is launching a beta test of a Windows 8 game-analytics program that it will create for measuring the success of its own games as well as those of other developers. Arkadium is inviting other developers to join it in checking out the new analytics system.
New York-based Arkadium launched four new games, including Taptiles, on Windows 8 PC and mobile game platforms in October. It has seen increased downloads and gameplay each month for those titles, and all four have been in the top 10 rankings on the Windows 8 store. Of course, the numbers of downloads for Windows 8 games is still small compared to the app stores of Google and Apple. But it’s a start.
Microsoft said there are more than 100,000 apps in the Windows Store, including 15,000 games. But so far, game makers haven’t had access to a real-time analytics system for games sold there. That makes it tougher to do regular updates for games.
“We recognized that games as a service is dependent on real-time data so you can make changes on the fly,” said Kenny Rosenblatt, chief executive of Arkadium, in an interview with GamesBeat. “There aren’t as many options on Windows 8 yet because the traditional analytics tool makers aren’t on the platform yet. We are developing our own tool and we want to share it with other developers who don’t want to build one themselves. This is a key piece of the ecosystem.”
Microsoft’s default analytics service is fairly limited, focusing on things like downloadable content rather than in-game items. Arkadium wants to track things such as the lifetime value of a user, daily active users and how much they spend on a daily basis, and other such modern metrics. Microsoft’s dashboard is pretty old in comparison to other platforms. Arkadium wouldn’t do this task if Microsoft was focused on it.
“This is something that they should address or they could fall further behind,” Rosenblatt said.
Otherwise, Rosenblatt is a fan of the Windows 8 ecosystem. He isn’t disclosing numbers of downloads yet, but he is happy that Arkadium made a strategic decision to focus on Windows games for its casual titles in the action, card, puzzle, and sports categories. He said his company saw an increase of 35 percent from January to April in active users and daily sessions.
“It’s got 100 million users, and that is enough for a game developer to be successful,” Rosenblatt said.
He said that the rankings for the top Windows 8 games are more stable than the rankings on Apple’s iPad. In a 90-day window, the top five games tend to last for twice as long in the top slots on Windows 8 (at 19 days) compared to the iPad (seven days).
Games have become the largest category of apps on Windows 8. In June, the Windows Store saw the largest uptake of games than any other month this year. The most popular categories are puzzle, arcade, and kids games. On average, Windows 8 games stay in a single ranking sport for 3.5 days.
Founded in 2001, Arkadium has hundreds of games on a mix of brand and publisher sites such as MSN, AARP, CNN, Comcast, and Discovery.