To realise the impact that the games industry has made on the general public, one needs only to look at the figures: global revenue is predicted to top 113 billion US dollars by 2018.
Amidst the deluge of new titles flooding onto the market, the number of potential hurdles and pitfalls impeding their success has increased concurrently. Nonetheless, no matter how much developers rely on testing their game for bugs throughout the production process, it is never exactly certain how things will eventuate.
“There are no objective methods available to measure and optimise your game’s features and potential before you actually soft launch it,” explains Markus Råmark, CEO of mobile game analytics company GameRefinery. “It is a huge downside of the business when companies need to spend hundreds of unnecessary hours on developing games blindfolded.”
Established in 2014, GameRefinery offers foresight – a crystal ball scenario if you will – that reveals how well the mechanics of each game stack up against the App Store’s Top Grossing rankings.
“We help our customers already in the design phase and continue throughout the lifecycle,” Råmark continues. “It’s like testing and optimising the commercial potential for a movie, even before you start filming it.”
The right approach
GameRefinery encourages developers to focus on the right things at the right time, saving both time and money. Its extensive analysis looks at more than 140 variables, taking into account new trends and feature level data. Eventually each product is assigned a Game Power Score out of 100 indicating its future prospects.
“We not only look at what kind of features the game actually has, but also at the synergies,” Råmark explains. “This means how well the different features in the games have been balanced and how well they work together. With that we can, for example, detect if you are trying to over-monetise the game, or if you are missing some social features, or some price points.”
The company’s growing global client base attests to their high success rate, with the likes of Next Games, Netease, Tilting Point and Dena listed among them. Now, having well and truly found its feet as a consultancy company, it’s time for GameRefinery’s next phase.
“We are introducing a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform to the market,” Råmark states. “This enables us to scale up the business and companies of all sizes can enjoy our service.”
The idea for GameRefinery originally came from brothers Veli-Pekka and Joel Julkunen, who developed the methodology together after earlier using similar methods in more mature industries. Having added Råmark as company CEO in 2014, the trio is already looking to the horizon beyond the SaaS launch.
“There are opportunities in the PC games and console games industries,” Råmark states. “And, if we look at the bigger picture, there are also possibilities to expand outside the games industry.”
Råmark is quick to point out that while Gamerefinery is still in its infancy, its lofty ambitions aren’t too far out of reach.
“We are at the start of our journey,” he reflects. “Our goal is that we will be able to make Game Power Score the industry standard for the measuring the mobile game industry. There is currently no such thing on the market. The possibilities are very big.”