A new software start up offers MMO developers the chance to track the psycho-social motivations of their users, and to help predict when they’ll buy extra items or even stop playing.
Using Ninja Metrics, developers can not only see what gamers did while playing, but how they interacted with and influenced other players, and can even predict their future behaviour.
"An average player spends four hours a day on World of Warcraft," Ninja Metrics co-founder Jaideep Srivastava told Gamasutra.
"If you look at direct mail or other marketing techniques, it’s targeted at an individual’s behaviour, and ignores the social influences surrounding them. If [marketers] can analyze the social influences, it allows them to better target a customer."
He also suggested that the software would work with Facebook games and Xbox Live.
The software was designed by Srivastava, a professor in computer science and engineering at the University of Minnesota and Dmitri Williams from University of Southern California.
Ninja Metrics utilises the Katana engine, which it claims is the "world’s most sophisticated social analytics engine."