Taxonomies for Transactions and User Engagement in Mobile Games

Windleharth Travis Lee Jin Ha
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

While monetization strategies become increasingly complex in mobile games, there is currently no standard vocabulary to describe different types of transactions. We present two taxonomies developed from studying 65 mobile games—a taxonomy of the types of transactions between game players and companies that transfer or create value for the gamer owner, and a taxonomy of methods companies use to drive engagement and retention with mobile games. We also introduce the concept of a transaction value map to illustrate how these taxonomies can be applied to characterize the transfer of value from cash into the game state. Transaction types were mapped to four major areas: real world value exchange, transaction methods, in-game resources, and in-game purpose. This work provides means for discussing transaction types which helps improve our theorized understanding of monetization strategies in games. In addition, it can be adopted in game marketplace to better inform the players.


Patches and Player Community Perceptions: Analysis of No Man’s Sky Steam Reviews

Lu Chien Li Xiaozhou Nummenmaa Timo Zhang Zheying Peltonen Jaakko
2020 DiGRA ’20 – Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA International Conference: Play Everywhere

Current game publishing typically involves an ongoing commitment to maintain and update games after initial release, and as a result the reception of games among players has the potential to evolve; it is then crucial to understand how players’ concerns and perception of the game are affected by ongoing updates and by passage of time in general. We carry out a data-driven analysis of a prominent game release, No Man’s Sky, using topic modeling based text mining of Steam reviews. Importantly, our approach treats player perception not as a single sentiment but identifies multiple topics of interest that evolve differently over time, and allows us to contrast patching of the game to evolution of the topics.