It’s hard to overstate just how finicky game design can be, and a Copenhagen-based startup called GameAnalytics has been trying to help devs crack the design and monetization code going on two years now. Now the team has gotten a pretty nice kick in the pants thanks to the folks behind the Unity cross-platform game engine — the two have inked a deal that will see GameAnalytics offered in Unity’s Asset Store.
Let’s back up a minute first — what is GameAnalytics? On the off-chance that the name didn’t already give it away, the startup offers game developers a set of tools that lets them easily dig into player actions in a really granular way to get a sense of what they’re actually experiencing in-game. After all, it’s not impossible to craft a game with a few scenarios that are just too hard, or a tutorial that’s too tedious, and each sticking point is yet another reason for a player to drop out and spend their valuable time elsewhere.
According to Wulff the GameAnalytics team has been cozy with Unity since the very early days, but the specifics of the strategic partnership only really came together over the past few months. It’s a very big deal for the young company, if only because a perch in Unity’s asset store means more visibility in front of a crucial audience. You see, somewhere along the way, GameAnalytics decided to give up on the whole freemium pricing model thing — these days the analytics suite is free for any developer that wants to integrate it into their wares. At first blush it seems like a… questionable business decision, but Wulff seems confident that the move was for the best.
From Wulff’s perch, the big goal for now is to demonstrate value to as many of those game developers as possible now to lay the groundwork for future monetization schemes that are currently in the works. And what exactly are those schemes? Wulff wouldn’t divulge too much on the matter aside from noting that he’d like to help developers “grow their audiences”, but he did confirm that the team was working on paid products that should debut some time next year. As if that wasn’t enough to keep everyone busy, the company’s other big priority has been inking the right partnerships with the right developers, a process that has seen Wulff and other members of the founding team crisscrossing the globe.
In fairness, the team isn’t exactly new to playing the long game. GameAnalytics first poked its head above the water back in late in 2011 and announced its first major infusion of capital two years later*. The slow and steady approach seems to be working reasonably well so far, as GameAnalytics’ tools have been baked into over 4,000 games.
*Disclosure: TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington participated in that early seed round through CrunchFund, although that’s not how I found out about the article or why I think it’s cool.