They need to make money, but how? These leaked Documents shows how.
Player Retention, Revenue Steam, these terms are important to some of the largest video game publishers right now. Publishers and developers want players to play their game as long as possible. While you play, they are likely to get more money through microtransactions. Some developers try to make a great game and know that multiplayer support can lengthen the time a gamer plays their game. Some look for any means to keep gamers engaged with their product. Screenshots of some documents were leaked about a week ago on imgur. This document show a model that Producers and Developers can follow to maximize profit for their games. That sounds okay at first. However, some tactics sound shady and unethical. Like an AI Spying on you inside and outside of a game. Yeah, like when you’re on Reddit or Twitter.
The Big 3 Ideas
- By Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s possible to increase revenue streams in game by combining out of game or ‘real life’ information and out of game AI generated activities with in game premium activities.
- Our main revenue creation tactic for all our clients involves utilizing persistent bait-and-switching of in game incentive advertisements with intermittent premium advertisements driven by the same AI.
- Most importantly, we have proven that allowing the AI to alter a player’s game as a whole (social engineering) and alter the player’s individual gameplay experience (psychological manipulation tactics) cause a consistent and dramatic increase recurrent revenue streams.
Okay, how are they going to do it?
The leaked documents cover data-mining tactics and methods, even going so far as:
- Using audio recording/spying to determine if you have children in the room, pets in the room, what vehicle you drive.
- Using audio to determine your gender, your mood, and your race. Even going so far as to detect the last 2 days of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Their AI discovered that women, in those 48 hours, where more likely to spend when shown aggressive up-selling/advertising.
- Tracking your activity on social media and your gaming habits. This way their AI can keep track of your activities on Reddit, 4chan, Twitter, etc. Been a month sense you played Destiny 2? The AI could used paid ads on Reddit to advertise new content or events. All this to “Reactivate” yourself and pick the game up again. Thus, increasing the odds of you spending more money.
- Mapping your room to determine an idea of your net worth. Using your wifi connection between your phone and router to slowly map your room. Bigger room(s) means you likely have a bigger house and more money.
- Listening through 1 second recordings to determine if your baby is asleep. Why? So your not detracted when they push a notification on your phone. Then, lure you back into the game. If it detects audio from your TV, the AI may decide to postpone luring you back in until you turn the TV off.
- Tracking player activity and adjusting prices for maximum income. If a large number of players start buying one product, the price increases. If players move away and stop buying a product, the price decreases to lure them back.
The leaked documents go over other models to help developers/producers maximize income through microtransactions. They even recommend something similar to what Destiny 2 tried with their Dawning Event. Offer a large number of premium items that a player couldn’t earn fast enough. So, they conveniently let players buy them.
I will say, however, there is one thing mentioned in the document that I’m happy about. Video Game Gambling is DEAD:
Gambling mechanics are already on their way out. Companies never should have taken this approach as it is self defeating. forcing all users into gambling in loot boxes means that they are casting a wide net on a single aspect of human psychology and hoping to catch those that are vulnerable to that tactic. People saw it for how unethical it was and it only survived because of how profitable a select few high spenders made the practice. It’s time to move on from gambling mechanics to personalized experiences.
The documents show a company offering discreet ways to influence customers. It shows just how manipulative people can be when they want our hard earned money. Then again, it is entirely possible these documents are fake. Designed to cause anger and outrage on the internet as a prank. However, I fear it’s all too real.
Here is a link to the leaked documents on Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/rhFuj
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