The rise of the online always-on videogame opens a new world of stat tracking. The recent changes is this area are well beyond simple high score boards or achievements/trophies. For example, consider the article “You Are Being Watched” from a recent issue of the Official Xbox Magazine. The article details the datamining that Bungie is doing for Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, that Criterion is doing for Burnout Paradise, and Valve is doing for Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead.
All of these companies are gathering data that shows them how their games are really being played. One usage for this data is to potentially make improvements and bug fixes. In the case of Bungie, players can actually log onto bungie.net and see their own stats and own personal heat maps for the matches they have played. Valve shares some of the overall data, and has recently started adding personalized data (for Steam players only).
For the personalized data, it would be interesting to see some numbers for how many players actually review their stats and whether it has an impact on their playing.
- Kotaku’s regular coverage of the fact that Nintendo makes Wii playtime data available
- Major Nelson’s regular updates on Xbox Live game popularity
- a Slashdot item about some neural network software being used to monitor games and assist players.
While I’m clearing out the videogame datamining links…