Game Personalization Platform Lets Developers A/B Test Virtual Items

Personalization in games is less talked about compared to various other topics such as distribution and monetization. That's because it is difficult to discuss as actionable insights get lost among the heaps of data developers collect. Making breakthroughs in this space is a company called Swrve that I had a pleasure to sit down with and discuss their emerging platform. More after the jump.

Personalization in games is less talked about compared to various other topics such as distribution and monetization. That’s because it is difficult to discuss as actionable insights get lost among the heaps of data developers collect. Making breakthroughs in this space is a company called Swrve that I had a pleasure to sit down with and discuss their emerging platform. More after the jump.

Swrve lets anyone test gaming concepts to various audiences in real-time allowing game developers to experiment and create the best game possible. The company officially launched its platform last week and is looking to work with iOS, Facebook and Web developers alike.

The premise of Swrve is that personalization of content results in much greater engagement because it addresses the interests of users. In summary, Swrve wants to provide a:

  • A realtime platform to test and personalize games
  • A cloud-based, live game editing loop – so content owners can understand user behavior and interactively tune their content accordingly.
  • Deep behavioral segmentation so developers can not only see how their game is performing, but quickly make changes to adapt to the needs of very specifically targeted segments of players.

Swrve is unique in the sense that it’s more of a game editing tool then an analytics platform. Developers can A/B test specific virtual goods and set frequencies of how often an item will show up. This can help maximize retail marketing efforts of the virtual goods being sold in the game as they don’t have to rely on just one good for that particular point in the game and can test with differing goods (that could have a varying look or price points).

To demonstrate their capability, Swrve partnered with social games developer 5th Planet Games. Prior to the partnership, 5th Planet was using a custom in-house platform for tracking analytics to test complex play elements against different audience segments. Working with Swrve allowed them to test what virtual items were most valuable, saving them a great deal of time.

Steve Pladson, CEO of 5th Planet, tells us: “Most game developers don’t track the data that’s most important and customer feedback doesn’t truly convey what’s actually happening within the game. Swrve has opened our eyes to the value in behavioral tracking within our games, and by removing the hassle of integration, it has become the best experience in user analytics that we’ve ever had. Being able to run interactive testing yielding results in real time is key to why 5th Planet chose to work with Swrve.”

Other companies like Apsalar and Playhaven are also focusing on the engagement problem by connecting data and analytics to actions that eventually translate into revenue. The more a player funnel or behavior can be attributed to revenue, the more one can optimize for greater monetization, because frankly that’s what matters most.

As one of the more unique and innovative companies, Swrve is poised to attract attention of top tier and mid tier developers alike. Swrve was co-founded by Hugh Reynolds who previously founded Havok, an irish interactive software company back in 1998. The integration process is relatively simple and if testing new content and configurations of game play elements is important, check them out at www.swrve.com.