Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Industry Terms
and Metrics
5.1 Industry Terms and Metrics
One of the most challenging things about coming into the social games space
from another industry can be the bewildering array of acronyms regarding users
and monetization. Each publisher seems to value slightly different key metrics,
but almost without fail, the obsessive focus put on ARPU or DAU or more sophis-
ticated DAU indices (all explained in this chapter!) would do a baseball bookie
proud. Anyone with a stake in the financial performance of social games needs
to learn to live, sleep, and breathe metrics. This chapter helps explain what the
most commonly referenced user metrics are, why you should care, and how dif-
ferent groups evaluate these metrics to determine product health. At the end of
this chapter, we'll take a look at John Romero's Ravenwood Fair , a game that
has generously shared oodles of metrics with the community at large. We'll sift
through the Ravenwood Fair data to see how a successful game has made use of
user metrics to improve its offering and to thus become even more profitable.
5.2 Measuring Player Population
Let's start with the two kings of the analytics world: DAU and MAU.
DAU: Daily Active Users
DAU (daily active users) is a measure of the number of unique users per day,
typically calculated over a floating seven-day period. Commonly, to qualify as
a DAU, a user need only start the app or enter the game. There is no minimum
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